Emergency Closure Pack (Includes Adverse Weather) Now Available €20

Following the large volume of calls we received over the last few days we have put this pack together for you. It contains:

  • Notes on how to put the policy together
  • A sample policy (in Microsoft word) which is editable. This gives the wording to suit the various scenarios and you can choose from the options to suit your service
  • An Adverse Weather Risk Assessment

Developing an Emergency Closure Policy is a complex exercise as there can be lots of different scenarios to think about.

When developing any policy ensure it does not contradict

  • Another policy
  • Parental agreements already in place
  • The contract of employment
  • Related policy in the staff handbook if you have one

Developing and thinking through this policy may reveal that you should adjust other policies, contracts and agreements that you have in place. Examples include:

  • Your parent handbook or parental agreement may need to change where you make it clear what your policy is in relation to the payment of parental fees
  • Your contract of employment may need adjusting where you state clearly your procedure on closures and the options available to you as an employer

Note that there will be a big difference between an ECCE only service and full day care service. An ECCE only service may receive Force Majeure and therefore can afford to pay staff while a full day-care service may not afford to do this if parental fees are not payable, so the policy should reflect individual services.

Employer Information

There is no requirement legally for employers to pay employees for days that they do not work. However, it is important, to be aware of any previous custom and practice (i.e. what have you done previously)
It is also important not to start a precedent that may have implications for the future. For example, if you decide to pay staff if absence (e.g. in the case of Force majeure being granted by DCYA through Pobal) have you taken account of a situation where force majeure may not be given? You may need to distinguish between different circumstances to allow you pay staff in these circumstances (where you get paid) and circumstances where you don’t get paid.
In addition, check what your contract says as this may give a clear direction of what you should do.

These are just some hints on putting together a policy on emergency closures. The Policy included in our Emergency Closure Pack gives you all the options and wording to suit your business.

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