With Hurricane Lorenzo on the horizon, everyone is wondering if it will be bad as Storm Ophelia or will it just blow by in the night, with little to no disruptions.
It seems there are a lot of varying opinions on the effect Hurricane Lorenzo will have on Ireland. So what do employers need to be mindful of, particularly if it does become dangerous and/or disrupts public transport?
Subject to any policy you might have in place to deal with adverse weather conditions, employers should:
1. remember the health and safety of your staff is the number one priority, and should be balanced with the need for the business to continue running as efficiently as possible;
2. be mindful of employees getting to work later than normal, due to delays in public transport;
3. keep employees informed of weather disruptions, where it will affect the workplace;
4. if possible, let employees work remotely;
5. remind employees that if the weather does improve sufficiently, then employees will be required to attend work; and
6. make employee(s) aware that if they do not make a reasonable attempt to attend work or if they fail to keep their manager informed, then it may become a disciplinary matter (subject to the employer’s relevant policies).
Finally, while there is no legal obligation to pay an employee if they are unable to attend work due to adverse weather conditions, it is recommended that an employer is mindful of the long term working relationship, and that a stoppage of pay in unforeseen circumstances could give rise to an unnecessary industrial relations issues.
THE Government has convened a meeting of its emergency co-ordination group amid indications Status Orange weather alerts could be issued if, as feared, Hurricane Lorenzo sweeps over Ireland as a tropical storm with winds of up to 100kmh. Lorenzo, which will weaken from a monster category five hurricane to a tropical storm as it slowly approaches Europe, is now looking increasingly likely to bring powerful wind gusts and torrential rainfall to Ireland on Thursday and into Friday. Such is the potential threat posed by Lorenzo that Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has now ordered a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) at 4pm today.