Excessive wind and water can be bad for employee attendance!

28th November 2012

As the festive period draws closer, and the dreadful bad weather continues and even worsens for many parts of the country, the thoughts of many employee's can turn to those seasonal songs that we all know and love and which bring joy and happiness to so many.

Who can resist that all-time favourite? Oh, the weather outside is frightful And the house is so delightful So if work is the place to go It's a no. It's a no. Iit's a no! Everyone loves to sing along to this one too: Alarm clock rings, are you listening? And outside, snow is glistening My duvet is bliss So I'll give work a miss Skiving in a winter wonderland But this year, the likelihood of employers having to deal with the traditional level of opportunist absences will almost certainly be exceeded by larger numbers of staff who live in flood affected areas. The terrible consequences of the weather of recent days in so many parts of the country areas will have inevitably impacted on businesses and attendance levels. Have you got a feeling in your water that something isn't quite right? To help employers distinguish between real excess wind and simply hot air, here are some considerations and alternatives: Personal difficulties v travel difficulties? Where employers are satisfied that employees who have been directly and personally affected by the floods, they may wish to apply one of these options: Taking paid time off via the use of holiday entitlement Being allowed to make up any working time lost through additional hours on returning to work Working from home for an agreed number of days or temporary period Taking unpaid time off to care for dependants e.g. where a school is closed temporarily Taking unpaid time off with permission to resolve their personal domestic difficulties e.g. flooded home Where employers are satisfied that they are dealing with the absences of employees who are simply experiencing travel difficulties without being affected by the bad weather in any other way, they may wish to consider: Whether the employee's explanation is acceptable Whether the employee has made sufficient effort to get to work Developing a network of travel -buddies to assist those with regular travel issues in bad weather Using the disciplinary procedure for frequent absentees Use one or more of the options in the previous example or Sticking to a policy of non-payment for time lost in all such cases In a worst case scenario, the closure of a business due to bad weather will lead to more significant practical and cost implications which may include lay-offs and guarantee payments. Comprehensive written contractual policies to apply in such circumstances should be an integral part of any employer's handbook. Applying an existing contractual policy is much easier than developing one in a crisis. So, if you have been inundated this week, contact Qdos to keep your head above water. Let us be your umber - ella, ella, ella

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