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Leading Stockport law firm Gorvins is advising businesses to invest in an adverse weather policy ahead of the anticipated cold snap taking hold of the North West. In winter 2012/13 it was estimated by the Royal Sun Alliance that a third of workers were unable to get into work in extreme snow, costing the economy up to £473m. With staff and employer uncertainty about work obligations, pay and cover surrounding ‘snow days’ and similar weather ‘events’ that prevent staff getting into work, a simple legal policy can help to avoid confusion and ensure a robust contingency plan is in place, but very few businesses have them.

David Walton, Head of Employment at Gorvins, said: “When adverse weather causes transport disruption there is often a great difference in the level of effort staff will make to get into work. It also raises the question of whether being unable to get into work will have an impact on pay.

“By creating a simple policy that outlines what’s expected of staff in these circumstances, how the business will continue running and what processes will be put into place it will avoid confusion and disruption. “In today’s world of mobile working and cloud computing, being in the office isn’t always necessary, but setting out the ground rules in advance will avoid any headaches when the cold snap really bites.”