As adverse weather is forecast, employers must be prepared to address the impact it may have on their workforce and operations. Ensuring the safety of employees should always be a top priority, but businesses also need to consider how to maintain continuity and resilience in the face of major travel disruptions. Here’s what employers need to know and do:
1. Develop a Strategy:
A. Analyse potential risks to the business posed by adverse weather and formulate a comprehensive plan to mitigate these risks.
B. Plan for worst-case scenarios while ensuring the plan remains adaptable to minor disruptions.
2. Consider Legal Implications:
A. Given potential legal uncertainties, employers may want to include clauses in employment contracts that specifically address deductions from wages during periods of absence due to adverse weather.
3. Implement a Policy:
A. It’s crucial to have a clear policy in place outlining how the organisation will manage adverse weather and travel disruptions. This policy should be communicated to all employees.
B. Consider drafting, or seeking legal advice, on an adverse weather policy if your organisation does not already have one in place. This policy can provide clarity on how to handle various scenarios related to adverse weather conditions, including employee safety, remote work options, and compensation during absences.
4. Communication and Awareness:
A. Share the policy internally before any anticipated period of travel disruption to ensure all staff and managers understand their responsibilities.
B. Foster open communication channels to keep employees informed about any changes or updates regarding work arrangements during adverse weather conditions.
5. Flexible Work Arrangements:
A. Explore options such as remote work or alternative workplace arrangements to enable employees to continue working despite travel challenges.
B. Ensure that employees have the necessary tools and resources to work remotely if this option is feasible.
6. Address Pay and Compensation:
A. Decide whether employees will be paid if they cannot make it to work due to adverse weather conditions. Consistency in applying this guidance is key.
B. Be mindful of the employee relations aspect; while deducting pay may impact morale, paying absent employees without recognition may breed resentment among those who do make it to work.
7. Prioritise Safety:
A. If weather conditions make it unsafe for employees to travel to the workplace, consider closing the premises and allowing employees to work from home or take the necessary time off until conditions improve.
B. By taking proactive steps and implementing a comprehensive strategy, employers can minimize disruptions to their business operations while prioritizing the safety and well-being of their employees during adverse weather events. Remember, preparation is key to effectively managing these challenges and ensuring business continuity.
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