Is your business suffering from bad weather?

  • Have your employees been getting in late because of travel delays?
  • Should you be thinking about introducing more opportunities to work from home?
  • Have you lost money from bad weather?

As the cold weather continues, your business is bound to be feeling the impact. Travel disruption, such as severe weather and public transport cancellations (the recent rail and tube strikes being good examples) can affect any of your employees being able to get into work on time. Any time that your employees are not working, it is costing your business money – but what are the legal implications?

What are your employees’ rights?

ACAS states that “employees are not automatically entitled to pay if unable to get to work because of travel disruption”. Unless you are providing your employee’s travel or if they are travelling for work (as opposed to ‘to work’), you do not need to pay your employee if they have experienced travel delays.

You may introduce discretionary or informal payments for such disruption, but this not legally required.

What can you do to minimize the impact of bad weather?

Your business should have plans in place if severe weather or travel disruption occurs.

  • Having a flexible approach is helpful. If it makes sense for your business, letting employees move their working hours to suit the weather, coming in later if there is a rail strike or heavy snow for example, will help them and you.
  • Giving the opportunity for people to work from home on these occasions, if it suits the business, is also a good idea. Having a strong and flexible IT network can really help this work. This is an especially good idea if you have parents working for you that may not be able to travel into work if schools in the area are closed, for example.
  • Organise cover or alternative working patterns. Planning for bad weather in advance can help mitigate any problems. If someone can’t make it into work, who can take their role? If there is a plan or policy already in place, it is easier for all of your staff and management team.

Make sure that you have a HR policy in place in case of travel disruption and bad weather, before it occurs. This will help you deal with the effects of absent workers, get cover for them at short notice, or have them ready and willing to work from home. Planning ahead helps you cover every eventuality making your business run smoother and making your employees happier.

Have you got your bad weather plans in place? If not, contact us today

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