On the 6th day of Christmas Your HR Lawyer gave to me… information on Adverse Weather

christmas, social events

Whatever the (adverse) weather here are some things to consider in relation to managing lateness or non-attendance in relation to bad weather.

Do you have an “adverse weather” policy in place and do your employees know about it?
Can you be flexible with employee’s start and finish times or even location?
Do you have a plan in place for how you will manage absences or lateness due to adverse weather or transport disruptions?
Will you take a more lenient approach to payment if someone is late or unable to come into work due to bad weather and the associated transport disruptions?
How will you approach the issue of school closures or problems with childcare?
Remember to consider your duty of care to your employees under Health and Safety.

Top tips:
Don’t just stop someone’s pay because they are late or can’t make it into work – check out the reasons why first and then make a decision. Make sure it’s clear in your policy how you will manage non-attendance or lateness in relation to adverse weather and pay – there shouldn’t be any surprises for your employees.
Deductions of pay can be troublesome and, if you don’t have it written as a contractual term, deducting pay could be classed as unlawful deduction of wages – maybe you need a more lenient approach in these circumstances?
All employees should be covered by the same policy and have it applied in exactly the same way.
Keep an eye on the weather for your area so that you can be prepared should the elements change!
School closures are normally published on your local authority’s website. If an employee is unable to come into work because of a school closure you can check it out on line. If genuine, consider allowing them to work from home or have dependency leave (paid or unpaid). Do not discipline your employee in this situation as they are most likely covered by laws relating to dependency leave. Consider disciplinary action if they’ve not been honest about their non-attendance!
Conduct risk assessments for those employees working outside in adverse weather or having to drive as part of their duties. You are responsible for the health and safety of your employees.
Use your common sense – not every case of lateness or non-attendance will be the same and you can’t always cover every scenario in a policy.
HR issues getting in the way of your festive fun? Call us, we can help! 0115 870 0150 or email nickie@yourhrlawyer.co.uk

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