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Flexible Working and Tips for Employers During Euro 2016

The UK is set to go football mad with the 2016 Euros in France coming up, but what will the impact be to your business?

As many of the games are scheduled to take place during standard working hours, you might be worried that there will be an increase in absences, with your employees faking illness to watch matches.

Following England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland all qualifying there is perhaps a greater chance than ever that employee’s productivity will drop. Additionally, with the competition’s expansion from 16 to 24 teams there will be more games and arguably extra distractions with celebrations, drinking and unfortunately, hangovers.

Top Four Tips For Employers During Euro 2016:

  1. Drinking – Many people like to enjoy a drink whilst watching football so if you have a strict ‘no drinking policy’ at work you might need to remind your staff to prevent them from going to the pub to watch the games live.

    If you find an employee to be under the influence of alcohol in work they could be subject to a workplace disciplinary. Late attendance or lower levels of performance at work due to drinking should be monitored and reviewed in accordance with your attendance policy.

    If your policies fail to cover drinking or coming into work hung over the Euros could present you with the perfect opportunity to review your policies.

  2. Flexible Working – If your employees work shifts, then allowing them to swap shifts can be an effective way of ensuring productivity doesn’t drop – remember not everyone loves football, but that you will need to be fair and consistent.

    Depending on your business you might be able to grant your employees flexible working hours. This might entail coming into work later, leaving earlier or perhaps taking breaks to coincide with matches.

    Try to approve any alterations to normal working patterns before the start of the tournament.

  3. Sickness – It is important to monitor your staff attendance as there might be an increased number of sick days taken during the tournament.

    Sickness could be faked, but could also be real. Look for patterns in absence as this, along with any unauthorised absence, is what employers could bring formal proceedings against an employee for.

    Make sure to apply your sickness policy consistently across all of your employees during Euro 2016.

  4. Holidays - This might be a good time to review your holiday booking procedure. If you do not have your own established written rules about booking and cancelling holidays, you might want to think about doing so, as the default statutory provisions are not particularly user-friendly.

    In the absence of any written company procedure, the default provisions in the Working Time Regulations apply, which means that employees must give twice as much notice as the length of holiday they wish to take – so two days, for a single day holiday – and employers can reject requests, by giving notice which is the same length as the period which has been requested.

    These rules are pretty basic. They may not be ideal for you as an employer, but it does mean that you will be able to cancel holidays if you have to do, even the day before a big game -assuming that the booked holiday is only for one day.

Jim Lister is a business adviser and employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.

For expert legal advice call the employment solicitors for business at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help.

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