ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE SNOW?

For the last few years there’s been heavy snow during the winter months.  It’s likely that we’ll have snow this year too.  It’s best to prepare to both protect your business and to ensure that your staff what to do in adverse weather.  Below are a few tips to help you prepare.

  1. During “snow-days” staff are expected, wherever possible, to make all reasonable efforts to safely make their own way to work.  However, think about what impact the snow might have on your business.   Do you need your staff to come into work, or can they do some work from home?
  2. Let your staff know in advance whether or not they will be paid for that day’s work.  Most organisations state that “snow-days” can either be taken a holiday or are unpaid.  However, if you have arranged for the member of staff to work from home that day, then the day will be paid at the normal pay rate.
  3. Determine how you will communicate with your staff during adverse weather.  Set a time by which they will have to call into work to inform you whether or not they will be attending that day [and if so, what time]. Think about how this arrangement will impact your customers or clients.
  4. Most transport issues are generally confined to the “first 100 yards” of an employee’s journey into work. You should advise your employees to:
  • Not to park their cars on sloping driveways
  • Park on roads that are gritted and walking to and from their car
  • Make contact with colleagues who live nearby to arrange car shares
  • Check and use public transport services where possible

Is your business ready for England’s Summer of Sport?

Euro 2012 has officially started, Wimbledon is around the corner and it’s only a few weeks before the Olympics commence.   Everyone’s talking about it, but have you taken time to think about what the impact might be on your business?

You will find that your staff request time off to watch their country at key events, and you may end up trying to juggle their attendance whilst still providing a high quality and response service to  your clients.   Below are a few suggestions that can help you with this:

1) Look at the working patterns within the team.

- Can your staff work more flexible hours during this period?  For example, they agreed to work “core hours” during the day, but choose to start or finish earlier so that they are able to watch their chosen event.

- Alternatively, if the nature of your business allows this, encourage your staff to swap shifts.

- You could ask your staff if some want to work overtime (or to accrue Time Off in Lieu) to cover the absence of their colleagues

2) Consider how you could ensure that your staff are able to watch key events whilst at work by offering special screening on premises.  Alternatively, you could allow staff to keeping track of events on the Internet, a TV or radio while they work

3) Ensure that you adhere to your legislative requirements.  If you offer special screenings at work, ensure that you have  a TV license.    Ensure that you are keeping within Health and Safety guidelines: for example, listening to the radio whilst at work could decrease an employee’s concentration and potentially lead to a workplace
4) Some businesses, particularly in London, will be impacted by the increase in traffic during this summer.   Journeys to work could take considerably longer than it normally does, and in the worse case scenario you might find that your staff are late to work.
Again, by speaking to your staff you can find ways around this.    Discuss the possibility of staff working from home or perhaps working at different sites which are closer to home or more convenient in terms of travel.

It’s important that that you are consistent across your business, regardless of the approach you decide to take .  If you put special arrangements in place, let your staff know that these are on a  temporary basis.  And ensure that you monitor and review the working arrangements.

We have a truly exciting summer ahead of us.  Talk to your staff, put plans in place and enjoy.