Adverse/Inclement Weather and Office Closure

Policy

Category: Human Resources
Subject: Adverse/Inclement Weather and Office Closure
Division: Human Resources and Corporate Services
Policy Number: CA.52.01.130
Effective Date: June 20, 2016

POLICY STATEMENT

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) is committed to protecting the health and safety of all its employees, while ensuring that business disruption remains minimal. WDGPH recognizes that employees may face difficulties getting to and from work during periods of adverse/inclement weather conditions, and therefore accepts that there may be times when absenteeism is unavoidable.

Employees are expected to make every effort to attend work during adverse/inclement weather conditions without putting their personal safety at risk. If possible they are expected to report to work to the nearest office if weather conditions prevent travelling to their regularly scheduled base office. Lateness due to weather is not penalized, unless the amount of time is unreasonable.

If it is unavoidable for employees to be absent from the workplace, the employee is expected to take all reasonable steps to report their absence to their immediate Supervisor or designate before 8:30 a.m.  If circumstances prevent this, the employee is expected to take all reasonable steps to report their absence as soon as possible. 

Once contacted, the immediate Supervisor, subject to operational needs, may agree on one of the following options with the employee:

  • Work from home (if applicable – see details below);                    
  • Use vacation time;
  • Use compensating time;
  • Use flex time – a reasonable amount of flex time may be used if an employee’s attendance is impacted by inclement weather.
Recording entries

Employees absent from working with approval from their immediate Supervisor due to adverse/inclement weather conditions must record absences with the appropriate codes, e.g. vacation or compensating time, in the Employee Self Serve (ESS) system or on their timesheets.

Working from Home

In extenuating circumstances work from home is permitted due to adverse weather conditions if the nature of the job is such that the same quality, and quantity of work accomplished is consistent with that accomplished at the office.

Working from home arrangements due to adverse weather conditions must be approved by the immediate Supervisor.

Employees are responsible to advise their immediate Supervisor if they will work their regularly scheduled hours per day, and if not, they can request to use vacation, compensating or flex time.

Failure to comply with reporting arrangements may amount to unauthorized absence and could therefore be unpaid.

The decision whether WDGPH offices will be closed due to adverse weather conditions is made by the Medical Officer of Health/Chief Executive Officer (MOH/CEO) in collaboration with the Director’s Committee where practical. The decision to close the office will be made as early as possible and employees will be notified by email and/or other media.

No deductions in pay will be made if the office is officially closed, or if employees are sent home early because of adverse weather conditions. 

SCOPE

This policy applies to all employees of WDGPH.

DEFINITIONS

Adverse/inclement weather – means severe, rough, harsh or stormy weather.  

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Procedure:  CA.52.02.130 Adverse/Inclement Weather and Office Closure
CA.52.01.129 Working from Home
CA.56.01.115 Safe Driving

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Manager, Human Resources

APPROVED BY

Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services


Procedure

Category: Human Resources
Subject: Adverse/Inclement Weather and Office Closure
Division: Human Resources and Corporate Services
Procedure Number: CA.52.02.130
Effective Date: June 20, 2016

PROCEDURE

Office Closure
  1. The Medical of Health/CEO and Directors’ Committee, where practical, will determine if an office needs to open later, close early, or for the entire day due to adverse/inclement weather conditions.  A decision on whether to close one or more offices will be made based on the specific weather conditions in the area the office is located.
  2. Once a decision is made, management will immediately be informed and an email will be sent to “All Staff” to advise them of the office closure which generally will be communicated by Communications.
  3. Management will ensure all employees reporting to them are aware of the office closure.  This may require the immediate Supervisor to call the employee at home if the email notice does not reach the employee due to their specific work schedule or duties.
Reporting to Work

An employee who is unable to commute to their base office due to adverse/inclement weather conditions may travel to the nearest office location instead. 

An employee who is unable to report to any office location due to adverse/inclement weather conditions will follow these guidelines:

  1. Contact their immediate Supervisor by 8:30am or as soon as possible prior to their scheduled shift and request approval to work at home due to weather conditions.
  2. If approved to work at home, the employee must indicate if their regular schedule will be completed, and identify the project(s) they will be working on.  The employee is responsible for confirming their hours worked to their immediate Supervisor when they return to work.  
  3. The employee must be available during these hours if contacted by their Manager/Supervisor or other work related contacts.
  4. If approved to use vacation, compensating time or flex time instead of working, the employee will need to record the entry upon their return to work at the office.
  5. The entry will be submitted using ESS or timesheets as applicable in order to obtain written approval from their immediate Supervisor.
  6. The immediate Supervisor will approve entries via ESS or timesheets which will be included as part of the employee’s attendance record. 

RESPONSIBILITIES

Directors will:
  • Review and advise if an office closure is required; and
  • Ensure clear communication to all management and employees of changes in office hours or office closure.
Immediate Supervisor will:
  1. Ensure employees are aware of and adhere to this policy;
  2. Ensure all employees are treated fairly and consistently;
  3. Consults with employees to determine appropriate arrangements during an incident (i.e. working from home, vacation time, etc.);
  4. Ensure employees record absence accurately in ESS;
  5. Confirm that employees are aware of any early or complete office closure due to adverse weather or other conditions as soon as possible;
  6. Advise employee of the requirements for working from home, i.e. assign work if required; and
  7. Ensure that legitimate work can be completed prior to approving an employee’s request to work from home.
Employee will:
  • Adhere to this policy for adverse weather conditions;
  • Make every effort to attend work;
  • Advise their immediate Supervisor or designate before 8:30 a.m. or as soon as possible prior to the start of their scheduled work day if unable to report to work;
  • Ensure approval received for attendance based on the options laid out in this policy; and
  • Ensure attendance records (ESS or timesheets) reflect the option approved by their immediate Supervisor. 

DEFINITIONS

Immediate Supervisor – Supervisor, Manager, Director, etc.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Procedure: CA.52.02.130 Adverse/Inclement Weather and Office Closure
CA.52.01.129 Working from Home
CA.56.01.115 Safe Driving 

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Manager, Human Resources

APPROVED BY

Director, Human Resources and Corporate Services