With Dudley & Eunice on track to blow us all about a bit this weekend, what do employers need to be thinking about when it comes to employees travelling to work?
Scenario 1 - Staff have to travel to work
Employees are are expected to make every reasonable effort to get to work, even if they can't get to work on time, unless they are notified in advance that they shouldn't come in.
You don't have to pay your staff for time missed as a result of being late, although you might want to agree that they can make the time up.
If your workplace is open for business and your staff can't make it into work, they aren't entitled to be paid for the time, unless your contract of employment says different.
However, that doesn't mean that you can't offer for employees to use some of their annual leave so they at least still get paid if they can't get to work due to trees blocking the roads etc.
You could also consider allowing the employees to make the time up at a later date.
Remember - always check your company policies and your contracts.
Scenario 2 - Working from home
If possible - it would be sensible to allow staff to work from home to help them avoid potentially dangerous travelling conditions. Plus, working from home means work can continue and the employee still gets paid! Winner winner chicken dinner!
If your staff can work from home, I would suggest encouraging people to take their laptops etc home tonight and Thursday to ensure they are prepared for potential issues with getting to work.
Scenario 3 - Closure of the workplace
If it's deemed unsafe for your team to be out and about doing their usual bits and bobs, or if the weather makes it completely out of the question, you could choose to close the workplace until the weather subsides.
Unless you have a contract clause covering lay offs, you will need to pay your staff in full for any hours they would have worked had work not been closed down. The same applies if you let staff come in later or go home earlier due to the weather.
If you do have a contract clause covering lay offs, you can temporarily lay staff off and pay them Statutory Guarantee Pay rather than their usual salary.
Time off for dependents
Even if your workplace remains open - it won't be the same everywhere. Bear in mind that some employees may need emergency time off to care for dependents where care provisions are affected. This applies to children and also dependent adults such as elderly relatives.
Remember that employees have a statutory right to this time off, although it doesn't have to be paid.
Whatever the weather brings us this weekend, just remember that key word in employee relations...REASONABLE!
Always consider what is reasonable and don't go asking employees to take unnecessary risks.
Stay safe y'all!