A harsh winter is being predicted this year so get prepared! Set the expectations and regulations in place now so that employees are aware of what will happen should Jack Frost arrive.
Although you are under no obligation to pay an employee that cannot make it into the office, it is best to use a bit of common sense. Using today’s technology it is now possible for employees to work from home and provided that they are able to do this you should pay them for that day.
If an employee is unable to get to the office and does not have the facilities to work from home then there is no obligation to pay the employee. However, you could ask them to take a holiday or take the day as an unpaid, authorised absence.
If the snow is really falling and it shows no sign of stopping, you might want to allow time for employees to make their way in, and give them extra time to find their way home safely. If the workplace is affected by the weather and there is a risk of slips and falls, you must take all reasonable precautions before you can allow your staff onto the premises – consider doing risk assessments.
If the snow does arrive this year it is important that you are prepared. Send an email round or put up a notice in the staff room outlining the expected outcome and behaviour from staff should work be affected by winter weather.
Before the extreme winter weather arrives, think about issuing a communication that covers top tips for employee’s travelling in winter weather; this could include what they should carry in their vehicle i.e. emergency bag. Also consider releasing a statement about travelling for work purposes and whose responsibility it is to make the decision that travel is safe.