Cold snap could cost UK economy £473m per day

PUBLISHED BY JON SELLORS (JON.SELLORS@UK.RSAGROUP.COM) ON FRIDAY 18TH JANUARY 2013

Today’s UK-wide snowstorm could cost the economy dearly, as sustained downfalls and continued weather warnings threaten people’s ability to make it into work, according to RSA.

The UK’s largest commercial insurer calculated that this current wintery spell could cost the economy £473 million per day based on conservative estimates that a third of the workforce will be significantly disrupted. This increases to a startling £629 million per day if 44 per cent of the workforce fail to make it in, as was widely reported in big freeze of January 2010.

RSA is advising businesses to take extra precautions to support continued trading during snowy times, such as the implementation of reliable home working processes and plans to cover unexpected team absence. Other recommendations include: 

  • Undertake a Business Continuity Plan review which considers how to service customers, suppliers and key stakeholders in the event of workforce disruption.
  • Give early warnings of problems to customers and suppliers.
  • Keep the telephone numbers of key emergency contacts close at hand e.g. insurance company, plumber/electrician.
  • Encourage staff to plan alternative routes to work where possible, and implement flexible working hours to account for extended journeys and early departures.
  • Salt and grit access ways well in advance of predicted snow showers. Arrangement should be made for regular inspections and consideration given to the need for temporary signs denoting safe routes.
  • Remind all staff to wear appropriate footwear when coming to work in severe weather conditions.

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