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16th February 2017

The Importance of Policies

Let’s look in detail at a recently updated policy from Quality Compliance Systems (QCS).

That ‘Monday morning phone call’

Did you wake up this morning to find a white blanket of snow and then start to wonder if all staff will make it to work on time or even at all?

We all dread that Monday morning phone call at 8am from an employee to say they are unable to attend work. However, does the employee know the rules and the details in the policy? Do you?

We all know the strain it puts on the rest of the staff, and ultimately the patients, if we are left short-staffed at the last minute.

Are you as a manager clear on what the policy is if a member of staff is unable to travel to work?

The name of the policy that we are going to look at is:

Unable to attend work policy and procedure

There have been recent changes to this policy, the main being:

  • What is expected of employees prior to making a decision not to travel to

The purpose of this policy is to ensure effective management takes place if an employee is unable to attend work and when the employer needs to protect the health and safety of their staff, by avoiding them travelling in extreme weather conditions and putting themselves at risk.

It forms part of employees’ Human Resources policies and procedures and relates to absence, holidays and sickness. The policy has been updated and changes have been made to clarify what is expected of employees prior to making a decision not to attend work.

Why is this policy useful to you as a manager and your staff?

What questions will a member of staff ask you when they ring to say that they can’t get to work because it has been snowing?

  • Will I still get paid?
  • Can I make the time back up?
  • The school is closed and I have no child care?
  • Can I take it from my Annual Leave entitlement?
  • Can I make the time back up?
  • Should I come into work later in the day when/if the snow clears?
  • Will it be authorised absence?

There are quite a number of questions an employee can ask you and expect you to know the answers. The answer to the questions above are outlined in the policy.

What are your responsibilities to staff travelling to work in adverse weather conditions?

The policy is applicable when weather conditions are so severe it could amount to a health and safety risk to your staff, which could mean you need to close the premises. In this case, it is your duty to make all reasonable efforts to contact affected staff.

Refer to the policy if:

  • The weather is bad and the employee makes the decision not to travel to work.
  • The weather is so bad you have to close.

The policy is there to help you give the answers to your staff.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Michelle Broutta

GP Specialist

In December 2014, Michelle joined the Care Quality Commission as a Specialist Advisor (SpA), Practice Manager. Michelle works with the Inspection team and inspects primary medical services. To date, Michelle has inspected around 60 GP practices across the country.

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