Thankfully, the UK is not regularly hit by bad storms, but when we are, it can come as a shock and cause big problems for businesses.

With employees facing road closures due to floods or fallen trees, or disruption, cancellations and delays on public transport, it can make the commute to work very difficult and in many cases, unsafe, leaving businesses facing skeletal staff, or worse, no staff at all!

In this blog, we’ll look at the ways your business can manage unexpected staff absences and continue to operate and work effectively in adverse weather or disastrous conditions.

Flexible working hours

Give your staff the option to work flexible hours, with a delayed start time or later finish, to make up for lost time during difficult commutes.

Work from home

Having the option to work from home removes the stress and difficulties that come with trying to commute during a storm.

Since the pandemic, working from home, or hybrid working, has become the norm for many, with cloud-based systems making collaboration easy. Being able to work remotely is a safe and practical alternative to going into the office, with many finding working from home increases their productivity as it’s easier to focus.

Seasonal temps

Hiring seasonal temporary workers is a really proactive way to prevent low staffing issues. This works particularly well if your business has busy periods, or a high demand for customer service, as hiring seasonal temps will ensure you have enough cover. Just remember they’ll need to be hired in advance, to allow adequate time for training.

Temporary cover can also help businesses cope if an employee has to take ‘dependant emergency leave’, to care for a dependant in an unforeseen circumstance, such as emergency school closures.


To prepare for adverse weather, businesses need a contingency plan detailing ways employees can continue to work, whilst staying safe. This should be well communicated to all employees.

As with sickness or any other issues, staff should notify their employer, as soon as possible, if they are experiencing difficulties or delays getting into work and keep you updated.

Flexible hours and home working means less disruption for businesses, but if this isn’t possible and staff cannot make it to work, they can take annual leave (if they have any remaining), or unpaid leave.

Absence management system

An absence management system takes the headache away from unplanned staff absences, as it can be used to manage staff timetables, temporary staff and annual leave.

LeavePlanner’s cost-effective solution is ideal when facing unexpected disruption, as employers can see reports based on real-time absence data and managers can submit leave requests on behalf of other employees, making the whole process hassle-free and easy to manage.

For absence management software that will allow your business to operate efficiently during adverse weather conditions, call us on 01252 636 070 or email Arrange your 30-day free trial today!

For any queries, call Steve on 01252 636 070 or email