Storm Debi Advice Note
With the current Storm Debi weather warning, companies are advised to communicate their inclement weather policies and consult with staff to prepare for possible interruptions to the operations of their businesses.
For employments where attendance is required, it is prudent to plan for situations where employees are unable to attend work, or organisations do not have work available, due to circumstances outside of their control such as significantly adverse weather, flooding or storm damage. In this context, employers do not have to pay employees for days that they do not work. The company’s approach should ideally be clarified as early as possible after people are put on notice of the forecast of an extreme weather event. It is critical that managers are urgently informed of the organisation’s position, to ensure consistency across the business. It is important to be aware of any custom and practice in the organisation or contractual clause, which may override this position.
Organisations may need to examine situations where employees make an effort to come into work and are delayed due to severe disruption to roads and public transport.
Where employees are working from home, it is important to note that a storm may give rise to communications disruptions.
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth advised that schools and early learning and care and school-age childcare service providers should not open until 10am on Monday 13 November in counties covered by Status Red and Orange weather warnings for Storm Debbi. This may place additional caring responsibilities on working parents.
Where a site is no longer accessible employers need to consider a way to communicate this to employees. At all times, safety considerations must be paramount.