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The US Post Office isn’t the only business that has to operate regardless of the weather outside…

So are you ready to keep your business going when employees miss work due to the winter weather?

You can be if you adopt what many small businesses already have…an “Inclement Weather Policy” for employees!

Similar to a sick day policy or even vacation leave, the inclement weather policy serves as a guide for pay, coverage of work duties and rules when an employee cannot make it to work because of weather.

So how do you begin to put this policy together?

Well, the first task is to define the weather. You must separate normal weather from extreme conditions such as snow emergencies or tornadoes, which would close the office entirely and probably fit into some emergency plans you already have…

The next step is to come up with a procedure for employees to follow if they are delayed or kept from the office due to snow, sleet or fire. Generally, this will revolve around details concerning contact information such as:

  1. Who they contact
  2. How they contact them (phone, email, texting, etc..)
  3. Timing of the contact

Next, you will need to have provisions for what the employee will communicate:

  1. Nature of the inclement weather
  2. Expected delays
  3. Phone number for employee

In-house, you will need to have a procedure to follow: who is the contact person, who will schedule employees to cover, and what policies will be adopted regarding how compensation will be handled for someone out due to inclement weather?

Many small businesses use a time bank similar to sick days. For example, employees are allotted a day per year for weather delays and these can be donated to other employees in a bank in case of major emergencies.

Do you have an Inclement Weather Policy for your business? If not, today is a great time to make it happen!

All of us here at CoverLink wish you warm and sunny days throughout 2010.

Photo by woodleywonderworks