Plan for remote working
• Many businesses can organise remote working with systems like Dropbox and Desktop Live providing real time access to information. But if servers go down through flooding, that doesn’t help. Make sure there is a Disaster Box that contains relevant softwares discs or licence details, insurance certificates etc. Have staff emails and mobile numbers in the box too, so you can notify them of problems and contingency plans.
• Keep the box off premises, in case your physical location floods. Back up regularly and store back ups offline and off the premises.
• If you are a largely online business, consider contracting to a second, supplementary ADSL supplier in case the first goes down.
• It’s not legally necessary to pay staff who don’t make it to work, but not paying can be classed as an unauthorised deduction if the employee does not agree.
• If a team member has to stay home to look after children (through school closure etc) they are entitled to unpaid leave.
• Think about providing bad weather clothing for those who do make it to work: high visibility clothing and wet weather gear can be used as promotional tools as well as ensuring health and safety for your employees.
• Be sure you have a policy on such issues and that it is communicated to staff regularly, during their annual review for example.
Business Premises Closure
• If you choose to close your premises you should pay staff as usual.
• If you let them go home early, rather than them asking to go, they don’t have to make up that time.
• Consider rewarding those who do make it in – even a small token of esteem creates a culture of attempting to get to work which then feeds through into all areas of an SME.