Is it time that you introduced an Adverse Weather Policy?

posted by KeithDaniel

It has been estimated that the ‘Beast from the East’ cost the UK economy £1bn for each day that it wreaked havoc. Since then, we have been, quite literally, snowed under with enquiries from employers looking to mitigate the cost of lost business hours.  It is a thankless task advising clients that (because they didn’t give advance thought to the problem) their options are now very limited.

Docking pay for snow absence, without any prior written agreement, carries a strong risk of a claim for unlawful deductions from wages. Similarly, employers are not entitled to retrospectively take snow absences out of holiday entitlement, without prior written agreement. Employers must therefore give advance thought and develop a strategy on how they want to deal with absences arising from adverse weather, which could, for example, include:

  • deductions from salary
  • designating annual leave
  • working back lost time
  • working from home / different locations

Thereafter, all of this needs to be captured within a dedicated policy and, if appropriate, an addendum to the employment contracts.  We can provide an Adverse Weather Policy from £250 plus VAT, which is a fraction of the cost to your business in terms of lost hours should you not tackle the issue correctly now. Should your policy however require written consent from your employees, we can provide a competitive quote once we know your specific requirements.

Having a policy in place will avoid frustrations following the next spell of bad weather and mitigate the impact that adverse weather could have on your business.  It will also reduce the risk of any unnecessary employment tribunal claims.

If you require advice on how to deal with any of the above issues or you would like us to create with you a policy that is suitable for your business, please contact Rachel Duncan at rduncan@berrysmith.com or on 029 20345511.