In early January, 49 states (Florida was spared) had snow on the ground. The large accumulations this winter have forced a lot of people to miss work – and called into question many companies’ time-off policies.
Does your company have a policy on how to treat weather-related absences? If not, now’s probably a good time to create one.
Here are three suggestions:
- Let employees use their sick days — with limitations. If an employee is wary about driving in the white stuff, that’s OK. Let the person use a sick day to stay home. If someone’s uncomfortable with snow and ice, there’s a chance they’ll get hurt trying to come in the office — and that could lead to the person taking even more time off. But you’ll want to put a limit on the dates employees can use this type of “snow day”.
- Create a weather interruption policy. Employers in the North and Northeast U.S. know there are going to be those days when the snow/ice just won’t let you open your doors. When this happens, it’s nice to have a weather interruption policy in place that lays out the protocol for determining and announcing when a closing will take place. It can also explain when and how employees should work from home, as well as how exempt and non-exempt workers will be paid during closings.
- Implement a paid-time-off (PTO) plan. A PTO policy takes a lot of weather-related concerns out of the equation. Most PTO policies don’t make employees determine whether an absence falls under a vacation, sick or personal day. That means less administrative headaches are created when the snow starts falling and employees start calling out.
Source: “Can Employees Use Sick Days for Snow Days,” Rebecca Mazin, www.allbusiness.com