Weather Disruption to staffing
This is the time of year when we expect the occasional chaotic day due to snowfall. Little did we expect the dramatic impact upon homes and businesses and transport dislocation caused by the recent unprecedented winds and rainfall.
Whatever your situation as an employer, it is always wise to have in place a clear policy for dealing with absence caused by extraordinary weather.
Despite common misconceptions, no employee is automatically entitled to time off with pay if they are unable to get to work due to bad weather. An employer is not legally required to pay staff for transport delays (unless, of course, travel time is usually counted as part of working hours).
Nonetheless, it is sensible for employers to deal with such difficulties sympathetically; for example, by allowing the time off to be taken as holiday at short notice or allowing working from home where this is possible.
The existence of a policy understood by all employees avoids resentment if pay is withheld and assists managers in coping with such situations. This should form part of an overall robust absence reporting and management procedure.
If you have difficulties of this sort or if it would help to review your absence policies generally, please contact Derek Hickman (firstname.lastname@example.org).