With regular reports of the polar vortex hitting the UK by the end of the month, it leaves us asking, what does this mean for my business? Do I need an adverse weather policy?
If the reports are correct, this will be the coldest January to date. This increases the risk of snow, icy road conditions, and other adverse weather conditions that can restrict our employees from getting in to the office.
It’s crucial to put your adverse weather policy plans in to place now. This will allow you to prepare for any possible disruptions to your business due to adverse weather. Start looking at annual leave, flexible working, working from home and any other methods to keep your business running through adverse weather.
It’s important you have an adverse weather policy in place to prepare for possible disruptions. The objective of a policy is to provide employees with guidelines in the event of adverse weather conditions. This also includes prevention of normal journeys to and from employees place of work. You can download our Adverse Weather Policy Template which includes:
- Adverse Weather Provisions
- Payment Policies
- Contingency Plan Support
Communicate with your employees
Putting plans in place now gives you the opportunity to communicate with your staff and find out what they want. This is a stressful prospect for everyone and it is important you support your team during this time. Furthermore, this will also give employees an insight in to adverse weather protocol.
Ensure your employees are aware of what is expected of them when driving company vehicles. Although, take into consideration dangerous road conditions due to the dark winter weather.
Company car drivers must be aware of the responsibility they have to maintain company vehicles. They must regularly check tyres, oil, water, lights and other functions to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive.
It’s always good to be prepared when driving in winter weather conditions. You may want to consider encouraging your employees to keep anti-freeze, blankets and snow shovels in their company vehicles.
Work Place Premises
As a manager, it is important that you ensure car parks and pavements are well gritted. This can help to reduce the risk of work accidents.
If an employee’s normal mode of transport cannot be used due to severe weather conditions, you can first encourage them to explore alternative means of safe transport.
Working from home
If you feel that alternative travel is unsafe for your employee, you can suggest that they work from home. In addition, This can be a relief for both parties is your employee has the correct equipment at home. This is a great way to continue your business as normal without putting your staff in any danger.
If working from home is not a viable option, you can suggest your employee can take the time off as paid annual leave. This can relieve stress for your staff as they will know they will be paid as normal and can enjoy their snow days without worrying about money.
If your staff don’t want to use their holidays, you can also suggest that your employees can make up their hours at another time that suits the business.
Employees are entitled to pay If you close the business
If the business is unable to open due to the adverse weather, the employees are entitled to their normal rate of pay. You can also look to put them on annual leave if you have provisions to allow you to do this in the contract.
If you would like further support on how to manage adverse weather in the workplace, feel free to contact us now.