Do you know the right thing to do when weather stops your workforce from getting in?

January is always a strange month for weather – just when you think the deepest, darkest part of the winter is over UK weathers throws you a curve ball. And it would appear that 2015 is no different.

With ‘Storm Rachel’ having apparently hit us, and the cold weather really starting to bite (below being the scene for tonight), it’s worth having a contingency plan in place for when your staff are snowed in.

Dealing with weather related absence in practice

So how should you deal with it?

First of all, we would recommend investigating some form of adverse weather policy to include in your Staff Handbook. This will show that you recognise the fact that Health & Safety could be compromised if your employees were to try to make it into work.

If they do make it into work, usually you would state that they have to make up any time that they have lost – unless they have made a valiant effort to get into work as soon as possible! Treat each instance individually if possible, and be fair – even the most diligent employee’s can’t change public transport timetables and disruptions.

Then there is the matter of deciding how your staff will be paid if they are absent as a result of the disruption. Here you have a few options:

• Staff take it as paid holiday
• Staff can treat it as time off in lieu of payment or flexitime if applicable
• Staff can take it as time off, that they will have to make up within a reasonable amount of time
• Staff can treat the absence as special unpaid leave

You may even decide to close the office – in which case you would usually need to pay your staff as if they had come into work, as you’ve taken the option away from them.

We hope that this has given you a helping hand as to how to cope with bad weather from an HR perspective – if you want any more assistance with this or anything else why not sign up for a Free Trial of citrusHR today?

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