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Developing a Storm Day policy for bad weather

Do recent winters have you shaking in your snow boots? You are not alone.

Whether you're dealing with snowstorms or hurricanes, establishing a policy for storm closings before a weather emergency arises will help your business run smoothly and keep your employees safe from dangerous travel.

Here are some things you need in a Storm Day Policy:

When will the business close?

Decide if there is certain amount of snow fall or a category of wind that will automatically close the business. If this option doesn’t seem practical you could tie your closures to other closures, such as government offices or when the transportation department limits travel.

Who will make the final decision?

Determine who makes the final call on when the business is closed: the owner, the office manager or another employee? Make sure all employees are aware of this decision

How you will communicate the closure?

You could ask employees to:

  • Contact a specific person,
  • Call into a recorded message,
  • Visit the business’ Facebook page,
  • Phone tree, or
  • Check for an email or text message.

Make sure employees are made aware and have access to check the communication method chosen.

Who can work from home?

Cloud computing, Skype and other technologies make working from home easier than ever. Your policy should list which jobs are eligible for this option and who the worker should contact to arrange a work-from-home day.

This can be a good way to keep workers productive while avoiding dangerous travel conditions.

Are employees getting paid?

Provincial Labour Standards do not require you to pay employees when the business is closed, but you may be required to pay employees a minimum reporting wage if they were at work and sent home.

More winter safety tips

Being prepared will help reduce stress and prevent dangerous situations for your employees.

To obtain a copy of the Storm Day Policy template, call your local Business Counsellor at 1-888-234-2232.

February 16, 2016

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