Snow may have caused probelems with absencesFollowing what is reported to have been the coldest UK winter is some 30 years, with snow falling across most of the country, new figures have revealed many employees were unable to get into work.

In what is likely to have caused an absence management headache for HR professionals, research by the Federation of Small Businesses has revealed one in seven employees were unable to make it into their place of work as a result of the snow.

And while 51 per cent of the firms surveyed claimed to have been prepared for disruption caused by severe weather conditions, 29 per cent of staff could not make it is as a result of lack of transport, while 11 per cent were forced to take time off due to school closures.

Of those which took action to ensure their business did not suffer in the event of people not being able to get to the office, 42 per cent ensured they had a remote working policy, 30 per cent offered flexible working and 17 per cent supplied salt and grit.

Mark Lewis, senior Europe, the Middle East, and Africa director of marketing and alliances at Riverbed, recently claimed that if policies are in place to allow people to work from home, people could be more productive – which may be particularly true in the event of disruption caused by the weather.