Snow and small businesses: the real nitty gritty

Many of us woke up to even more snow this morning and faced a long and difficult commute to work – again. You’d think everyone would have figured out how to deal by now. But no – the airports are still closing, trains are still delayed and children are still delighting in school cancellations.

Small businesses have also been greatly affected by the snow over the last few weeks. It’s been estimated that more than 100 million working hours have been lost due thanks to the weather adding time on to commutes or preventing employees from getting to the office at all, affecting over 70% of UK workers (http://www.newbusiness.co.uk/articles/travel-advice/the-importance-flexible-working).

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the government to review its contingency plans for bad weather because there’s really no reason for snow to bring the whole country to a standstill over and over again. The FSB has also pointed out the need for a code for school closures, arguing that a huge number of work absences in the last few weeks have been due to parents needing to stay home with their children.

With school closures, road conditions and travel delays causing headaches for many an SME worker, a lot of questions have been raised about just how prepared small businesses have been for the weather conditions. Do they have contingency plans in place? Are workers able to work remotely from home? Will employees who can’t get to the office be paid?

If you’re not out playing in the snow, leave a comment below and tell us how prepared – or unprepared – your business has been for this so-called mini Ice Age.

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