Snow – Here We Go Again!

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Winter is well and truly here and with snow forecast and already on the ground in some parts of the country, it won’t be long before chaos ensues and employers start feeling the impact of staff absence. Last December’s snowfall is estimated to have cost UK businesses a massive £0.5 billion and staff absence shot up to 14%. The impact this year’s weather has on business will depend upon decision made beforehand, many of which may be based on issues that are completely out of their control. Let’s look at some of the possibilities….. If you decide to temporarily close the business because of extreme weather, do you still have to pay the staff? You are effectively laying-off staff and unless you have a contractual right within your terms and conditions of employment to lay staff off without pay or the employees agree to be laid off without pay, then you would be obliged to pay staff their normal pay for the time they are at home. What if an employee takes time off because their child’s school is closed due to bad weather? In this situation, the employee has the statutory right to take time off to deal with an emergency but this would be unpaid. Crispin Rhodes specialises in protecting employers and helping them to prevent problems. A comprehensive employee handbook and compliant contracts of employment, tailored specifically to the individual business would cover all this and is an essential point of reference for both employer and employee when such issues arise. Both would know exactly where they stand should we be hit by bad weather again this year. If you’d like a free audit to review your current HR compliance, please contact us.

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