At this time of year we are often inundated with questions and requests for advice on winter weather and how best to ensure smooth running of the business whilst still supporting and ensuring employees safety.
I have answered some of the frequently asked questions , and included some tips and advice.
Q)“Do we have to pay people for a snow day?”
A) If your business opens, and unless you have a contractual clause that requires this payment, no you don’t.
Q)“What about late starts and early leavers?”
A) This is an area for discretion, some common sense and a bit of give and take is important here.
Q) “If they think it is too dangerous to drive, what can I do?”
A) You could view this as unpaid, authorised absence.
Q)“What about the extra risks of slips and falls etc?”
A) Always Safety first! Your duty of care is unaffected by the weather. You must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe working environment, a risk assessment considering the additional risks should be considered.
Q)“If they ask to work from home, do I have to agree?”
A) No but it could help both parties if some tasks can be done at home, especially with email and mobile phones. To be really effective it takes planning and good communication, and ideally a risk assessment should be completed.
Q)“Can they take holidays for snow days?”
A) Suggesting this helps both employer and employee and is absolutely OK as long as both parties agree.
An employers duty is to provide and pay for work, and employees that are unable to do that work are not automatically entitled to payment.
Common sense and goodwill are important and employers that work hard to balance the needs and expectations of both the business and its employees will reap the rewards many times over.
So at Simple HR we reward the people that try, showing a desire to help the business during these difficult times and we come and go as much as we can.