Advance planning will not only help avoid last minute uncertainties regarding the management of absences, but resolve pay and logistical issues before the weather turns really bad.
By answering the following questions you will be able to establish suitable protocols for managing potential absences and disruptions caused by bad weather:
- Who will decide whether your business closes due to bad weather?
- What will they base their decision on? eg national weather forecasts, local radio broadcasts, community notices, public transport closure, flood forecasts, so many inches of snow etc
- How will a business closure be communicated to employees, contractors, workers? eg an emergency contact list via phone or text
- Who do employees, contractors, workers have to contact if they are unable to make it to work due to the weather/travel disruption?
- Who can decide and grant permission for employees to work remotely?
- What IT, Health & Safety and insurance arrangements need to be in place to enable employees to work remotely?
- What is regarded as ‘reasonable effort’ to try and make it to work in bad weather?
- How will employee payment be handled, especially if some people manage to make it to work and others do not?
- How will measures taken be applied consistently and fairly across the organisation?
A clear approach that is communicated to all employees, ideally before it is needed, will help avoid confusion, misunderstandings and bad-feelings, reducing anxiety and stress for managers and employees alike.
If managed well, handling bad weather may even enhance morale and maintain, if not increase productivity, by creating opportunities to utilise more flexible work patterns.
If you need some help answering any of the above questions, just drop me a note or email.
For some further pointers about travel disruption have a look at the following links:
Keep safe out there!