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Autumn has Arrived!

With gale force winds and lashing rain sweeping the country, autumn has arrived with a bang.

One of the industries affected by this sudden change in the weather is agriculture, says leading legal, financial and property specialists Pagan Osborne.

Gillian Gibbons,

of its agricultural team outlines below some points it is important to consider. She said:

“There are many practical strains when a bout of bad weather hits – from ensuring animals are safe to clearing blown over trees. But bad weather also throws up a whole host of other potential issues and it’s important, more so now than ever with the weather likely to continue to be unstable for the rest of the year.

• Staff: Consider health and safety procedures for employees in relation to bad weather conditions e.g.  grit access roads to the farm.  Also, it is important to record the provision of suitable outdoor clothing and equipment and see if there are hazards that can be removed. For general health and safety, it should be considered what procedures are in place when working in hazardous conditions such as bad weather.

It is important there are policies in place on a number of employee matters, including if they cannot make it into work due to bad weather, do they still get paid or is it to be taken as a holiday.  It would be good for relationships with staff to have this clarified.

• Insurance: Check insurance cover to ensure outbuildings and sheds are covered in the event of damage or collapse due to weight of snow or wind damage. Also check all houses on the farm have appropriate cover for bad weather damage e.g. damage caused by frozen pipes, weight of snow on drains, effect of frozen water or snow suddenly thawing.  It is also important to have the correct insurance cover for employees and livestock if applicable. 

• Power of Attorney (PoA):  A PoA allows someone else to handle your affairs on your behalf should you be unable to do so. That can be if you are no longer able, through illness or incapacity, or simply if you are away for a long period or, as in the case of the weather you are unable to get to where you need to be. Anyone can be appointed as PoA, a friend, relative, colleague, carer or even your solicitor. They can deal with matters such as paying bills, dealing with bank accounts and signing documents. It may be that it is difficult to get into town to deal with business matters, such as paying wages or suppliers. A PoA can do this on someone’s behalf.

“This week’s recent wild snap has reminded us all how precarious the weather is living in Scotland and the massive impact it has on everyone’s lives – particularly those whose work is the outdoors.”


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Fax: 01333 311918


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