During extreme weather and generally untraversable conditions such as snow it is wise for organisations to have bad weather policies and procedures in place.
For many workplaces, extreme weather also inevitably means that many employees aren't able to get to their usual place of work or office. For a country that usually enjoys clement weather conditions, HR managers may not have much experience in dealing with staff calling in for a ‘snow day’. But with the winters likely to worsen over the coming years, it would certainly be wise for businesses to have bad weather policies and procedures in place.
What should be included in a bad weather policy?
Bad weather policies should include:
- Guidance about what employees should do if they’re struggling to travel into work (be it on the roads or public transport)
- Details of who to contact and how (email, telephone call, text message etc.)
- Whether working from home or flexibly would be an option
- If they will be paid if they miss work and when employees might be subject to disciplinary action.
These policies should be well-publicised ahead of any expected bad weather and easily available to read.
Generally, when the bad weather hits, its advisable for employers and HR departments to use common sense and, thankfully, lots of businesses now have the technology infrastructure to allow people to work from home.
As with many situations, having a clear and concise plan in place before the first flakes of snow start falling is the best option. Plan for the worst – office closures and employees struggling to make it in for a couple of days – and any minor disruptions will be easy to cope with.