The cost of employee absenteeism caused by the freezing weather conditions could amount to at least £230m a day.
The Forum of Private Business made the calculation from information including the daily GDP figure, the AA’s anticipated vehicle breakdowns, average salaries and official data showing an expected fall in retail sales.
The Met Office has warned that temperatures have dropped to their lowest for 15 years, and heavy snowfalls are causing widespread disruption.
“Employees make businesses grow, and losing key staff because of the weather, even for just a day, is very damaging, particularly in the current economic climate,” said the FPB’s research manager, Tom Parry. “It’s important that employers put in place contingency plans for these occasions and that these plans comply with employment law.”