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Snowfall cost UK employers £318mn, study finds

Productivity dipped as employees missed working hours

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UK workers missed 51.4 million working hours as a result of the recent snowfall costing employers £318 million, according to new research commissioned by Green Flag Breakdown.

Over 8.5 million or 18 percent of working adults in the UK were unable to work their contracted hours because of the adverse weather. The snow and icy conditions in the past week kept almost one in five (19 per cent) people off the road because they were afraid of driving.

A further 2.3 million (5 per cent) of people tried to take to the roads but were unable to because of ice on the roads. Despite delays, public transport was seen as a safe refuge in bad weather with 12 per cent of people taking trains, tubes and buses instead of driving because they felt it was the safer option.

Nonetheless, over 3.8 million people missed at least a full day of work in the last week alone as a result of the arctic weather conditions. Over 590,000 people missed at least two days of work in the last week.

However, Green Flag Breakdown also said millions of people were attracted to the thrill of driving in the icy conditions, with 17 per cent of UK adults claiming they enjoyed the challenge of navigating the roads in the past week. While a quarter (25 per cent) of men enjoyed the challenge of driving on icy roads just 8 per cent of women felt the same.

Miranda Schunke, spokesperson for Green Flag, said, "It is not only the roads that have been frozen in the last week, for millions work commitments have been put on ice. Our personnel have been working round the clock to respond to record volumes of incidents, helping motorists that have found themselves in difficulty on the road."

"In the future, we may see more drivers following the continental lead and investing in winter tyres and snow chains to help them cope with difficult driving conditions," she added.

For the purposes of research, Green Flag Breakdown asked Vision Critical to interview a representative sample of 2006 UK adults on 23 January 2013. Results were extrapolated up based on applying the percentage of UK adults in the nationally representative survey to the number of adults in the UK (48.4 million).


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