We’re always keen to talk about the weather but, for those in the East of Scotland, we’re running out of words to express our displeasure at the inconvenience being caused.Until now, there’s been a spirit of all being in this together but the cracks are beginning to show, with anecdotal evidence that some employers are forcing staff who don’t come in to work to use their holidays to cover their absence.
Legally, an employer is within their rights to do that – children being sent home from school, with no time to make provision for them, does constitute a reason for having a day off but having no childcare on day two doesn’t. But reputationally, that’s an altogether different matter.
Employers have a number of audiences to please. Of course, they are there to provide a service to their clients. In this weather, however, even those clients are likely to have been impacted and will be more sympathetic.
But at this time, the critical audience is the staff. A bit of understanding goes a long way, not just to the individual who is given time off, but with their colleagues. Because what a good employer gives to one, he or she gives to all. As an employee, you may not be looking for that help today – but you may need it tomorrow.
Jacqui Low is Managing Director of Indigo. With a career spanning over 25 years in media relations and public affairs, she specialises in crisis PR. Prior to establishing Indigo, Jacqui was a Special Adviser, the first woman to do the job in Scotland.