The weather outside is frightful, and your Inclement Weather Policy might be just as unpredictable as the storm on the radar. We’ve all been there; a major dump of snow comes overnight, streets are buried in snow and schools are closed. Some employees dig their cars out of the snow and make the slow trek into work, others deem it unsafe while others need to stay at home for impromptu childcare reasons. Managers and colleagues are upset with the interruption in work, and there is no clear direction about how the situation should be handled. The good news is that some simple planning and a well written Inclement Weather Policy can go a long way to avoiding lost productivity and employee conflict when the next snowstorm hits.
Plan Ahead for Snow Days
As the days shorten and winter weather approaches, pay attention to the weather forecasts. As you become aware of a pending storm, plan ahead. If it looks like the weather might be bad the next day, have employees take their computers and other required materials home so that they can do their work remotely. Make sure that you have all IT requirements and security measures set up so that your employees can work from home effectively.
If your employees go on site to provide services to customers, consider re-scheduling one or two appointments to another day to allow employees more time to adjust to the road conditions and drive safely.
Inclement Weather Policies
Typically, an inclement weather policy will outline the circumstances under which employees should not come into work due to poor weather conditions. It should identify who has the authority to decide if employees should stay at home. It should also outline how an office closure will be communicated to employees. Finally, the procedures that employees should follow if they cannot make it to work due to the weather conditions when the office is open should also be included.
Who Pays for a Snow Day?
If it is deemed safe for employees to come into work, and employees choose to stay home, or they have to provide care for their children, then employers can require that employees use a vacation day or family day to cover the time off. If the company makes the decision to close the office or send employees home early because of the weather, that time should be considered regular paid hours.
Don’t be Left out in the Cold, Give us a Call
If you are unsure of what to do before the next storm hits, give us a call and we can help you get prepared.