Football’s coming home! An employers guide to Euro 2016

Whilst HPC cannot predict who will win the Euro 2016 for you, we can provide you some top tips for dealing with employees during this time:

  • Consider whether you can be flexible in your approach, i.e. allowing for the games to be shown in work, allowing for people to take longer or later lunches. You just need to be clear to your employees over what you can implement.
  • If you do allow for the matches to be watched in work make it clear to employees what standard of conduct you expect as emotions can run high which can result in offensive comments being made against opposing team.
  • You may find an increase for requests for time off work for the key games, with England first playing on the 16 June so make sure you have a good system to record any request including any requests you have to turn down so you can refer back to them.
  • Make sure your holiday policy is up to date and well publicised to all employees, ensuring that you deal with any requests for time off fairly and consistently.
  • You may find a higher than usual amount of sick absence, so you need to ensure your absence policy is applied including the use of return to work interviews. Make sure you keep accurate records and if you use trigger points to monitor sickness absence apply these during this period.
  • Following key matches, you might find that the morning after the matches there are issues with timekeeping. Be clear from the outset that you expect people to be in work  on time and any lateness issues with be dealt with under your company’s disciplinary procedure making sure it is applied fairly and consistently.
  • Make sure your alcohol policy is clear on whether employees are allowed to drink alcohol whilst on breaks, as some people may have a couple of drinks watching the match.
  • Check your IT policy. If you are going to allow employees to use the internet to watch the matches, and your policy does not normally allow this make it clear that it is exceptional circumstances.

Although at the moment the focus will of course be on Euro 16, companies also needs to consider whether they want to introduce similar practices around flexibility other key sporting events including the Olympics or Wimbledon, as you could be facing an argument of indirect discrimination based on gender or race.

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