Is your business ready for Euro 2016?

Don’t show your staff a red card!

The UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament is due to kick off on the 10th June, and with 51 matches due to be played over the course of a month, many are taking place either during or very close to standard working hours. With ELAS Ltd statistics showing that absenteeism figures can rise by up to 20% during major sporting events, it is vital that you have a plan in place in order to minimize any potential disruption to your business.

The main areas to pay specific attention to include:

Annual Leave Requests

Legally, employees have no rights to time off for sporting events (ACAS), so it is important they know to make requests for annual leave in the normal way, with all standard terms still applying. If you find you have a sudden influx of leave requests during the football period, consider operating on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Try to be as fair as possible, but ensure that employees understand you have a right to refuse any leave requests that could impact on business productivity. Where annual leave cannot be granted, consider whether you could allow some flexibility around working hours instead, e.g. allowing people to finish earlier or later, or make up time taken to watch a match at a later date.

Sickness Absence

Refresh yourself and your employees on the terms and conditions of your company sickness policy – if they know you are actively monitoring sickness absences, you’ll be far less likely to see a sudden increase during the football season.

Control short-term absences by addressing the situation – if you feel the sickness absence is not genuine, look at historic absence patterns, conduct thorough Return to Work interviews, and consider starting an investigation procedure in the normal manner. Strictly enforce Unauthorised Absence policies, making it clear to employees that a failure to notify the company when sick could result in them not being paid, or even trigger a disciplinary procedure.

Social Media and Internet Usage

Anticipate an increase in the use of social networking and sporting sites during Euro 2016. With staff potentially watching lengthy coverage via computers or personal devices, it would be advisable to refresh your business on the terms and conditions of your internet usage policy. A web policy should clearly lay out what acceptable usage looks like.

If you decide to actively monitor web usage during the tournament period, then data protection rules mean all employees have a right to be informed.

Alcohol and Drugs Policy

With many people actively enjoying a drink whilst watching a game, or decamping to the pub to watch matches live, it is important to enforce your business’s alcohol policy during the Euro 2016 period. Drinking or being under the influence whilst at work is not only damaging to your business’s productivity, but also represents a significant health and safety risk. Make it clear to employees that anyone caught drinking on the premises or found to be under the influence could be subject to disciplinary procedures.

Top Tips For Your Business 

  • If you have a plasma screen, consider allowing employees to watch popular games in the office as they work
  • Nominate line managers to monitor games and distribute internal updates, or make group announcements using HR software
  • Think about implementing a flexitime policy on key match days, giving employees the option to make up time taken at a later date
  • Consider granting extra unpaid annual leave, as long as this doesn’t negatively impact on workforce levels or disrupt overall business productivity

Are you concerned about effectively managing employee absence? If so, we can help! Call us directly on 0113 230 8600, or visit our website to speak to a member of the team and discover what our HR and payroll software could do for you.

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