Snowed-in staff: more understanding needed from some employers

I am glad that Herfordshire’s corporate director of people and strategy was able to invoke the “council business continuity plans via a BlackBerry mobile phone and remote access to council IT systems” (‘Ice-cold Herts takes hard line on snow-bound absentees’, Personnel Today, 10 February).

I doubt many of his employees in less senior jobs, relying on non-existent public transport to get to work and receiving substantially lower salaries, get a BlackBerry or remote access as part of their package.

While senior managers worked from the comfort of home, were frontline staff supposed to walk to work to staff the phones and counters or, if they were to work from home too, use their own pay-as-you-go mobile phones?

Your story about Hertfordshire Council appeared the same day as the BBC reported that London Underground staff may be penalised for not turning up to work after most public transport had effectively been cancelled by their own employer.

Some employers seem to have little understanding of the jobs and lives of their employees.

Brian Watts, head of HR, City Lit

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