November 30, 2018
5 Steps to Minimise the Impact of Adverse Weather this Winter
We have stocked up on grit for our driveways, had snow tyres fitted on our cars and stockpiled the fridge within hours of the Met Office issuing a weather warning that snow is forecast.
But while most of us agree that snow is picturesque, adverse weather conditions can have a catastrophic effect on businesses that do not have contingency plans in place to ensure employees are managed effectively.
So here are five steps to help you minimise the impact of adverse weather:
1. Prepare, plan and put a policy in place
Although there is no legislation for adverse weather, it is recommended that organisations have a policy in place that is clear on the issues that may arise, such as staff not being able to get to work because of adverse weather conditions.
2. Consider employees who cannot get to work due to adverse weather
Have a clear policy and lay down exactly what you expect from staff, what the procedure is if they cannot make it in, and who they need to contact.
3. Decide on payment for absence due to adverse weather
Employees are not entitled to pay if they are unable to get to work because of weather conditions. However, it is best practice to offer an alternative and allow employees to take the day(s) off as a holiday.
Alternatively employees could be given the opportunity to make the time up at a later date – this is a good way to maintain staff morale in such circumstances.
So long as the policy is clear and all employees are treated consistently it is up to the business to decide how it is handled.
4. Consider the wellbeing of your staff
It is well known that the winter can make conditions such as stress and depression worse and it is important to always be supportive. Approaching a staff member who may be suffering from a mental health issue is not easy – make sure your line managers receive the right training to ensure they know how to support and approach staff in the right way.
5. Share these essentials for safe winter weather driving
Consider and share these key points for those times when your people have to travel for business by road:
- Have your car checked, including tyres, brakes, lights, anti-freeze and windscreen fluid
- Use dimmed or dipped headlights as soon as you notice a reduction in visibility
- Check your tyres for condition, tread depth and pressure
- Reduce your speed, and stay back from the vehicle in front to ensure you have more than enough room should you need to suddenly slow down
- Only use fog lights in extreme conditions – an indicator is when the vehicle in front of you becomes difficult to see, but remember to switch them off when the condition improves
- Most importantly – TAKE REGULAR BREAKS! It will help you concentrate better, especially when driving long distances in poor or foggy conditions