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Storm Brian is forecast to arrive on Saturday. As an employer, how should you prepare?

It is also worth giving thought in advance to any alternative sites of work, and where home working might be appropriate. If your employees work in the community you might want to give some forethought as to how employees might get to service users if there are fallen trees or floods.

Employees do have a responsibility to get to work and, if they don’t, technically at least you are not obliged to pay them.

Weather has a knack of creating unexpected consequences. Fair treatment of employees, trusting them (even if you cannot trust every single one) and communicating honestly is likely to resolve most issues. For example, many employees will be willing to take the time as holiday or to make up the time later, so as to continue to be paid.

On the other hand, if you choose to close the workplace then non-payment becomes highly problematic. If, as the employer, you stop employees being able to work, then employees may be entitled to be paid whether or not they attempted to get to work.

An explicit adverse weather policy aids consistency, reduces the risk of disputes and helps avoid the de-motivation that can arise from confused expectations. Please contact Employer Solutions if you would like a complementary one.

For similar reasons it would be judicious to pay employees whom you send home early. In the end disputes could easily cost you more in lost morale, and hence lower productivity, than any wage costs you are able to salvage.

Please note, blogs offer general guidance and are not a substitute for appropriate professional advice; individual circumstances can differ.

Malcolm Martin FCIPD
Author Human Resource Practice.