Black Friday: What do Employers need to Consider?

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26 Nov 2017

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Over the years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become renowned for the unparalleled bargains the long weekend brings. So much so, that many employees choose to take a day or two as annual leave to dedicate sufficient time to bargain hunting.

For many, however, the temptation of a substantial discount isn’t enough to warrant a day’s leave. For employers managing these members of staff, there are a number of considerations to account for on Black Friday – this year falling on Friday 24 November.

Shopping During Working Time

Employers should already have and reference a policy to set out the guidelines for employees’ use of the internet. However, given the lure of this renowned discount day, employees may be more prone than normal to spend time online shopping, away from their normal working duties. To prevent this, be prepared. Acknowledge that Black Friday is fast approaching, and ensure that you clearly communicate what you are willing to allow for your employees. Maybe their lunch break is the best time for scouring the best deals on the day, or you could take a more flexible approach and allow employees to have a quick browse during the day. Whatever you decide, make sure all of your employees are aware of the boundaries you’re setting and communicate these clearly.

If your Business offers Discounts or Flash Sales

Generally, your employees should already be aware of the flexibility (or lack of) they have when negotiating your prices. It’s widely expected that some will always try to push for that further £5 off – and even more so on Black Friday – so keep this in mind on the biggest discount day of the year. You may choose to offer a further discount on this day, or you may choose to continue as you would any other day. Whatever you do is your call, so long as your employees know that too.

Late Lunch Breaks

If your employees are within travelling distance of a shopping outlet likely to participate in the Black Friday hype, be mindful of the extra time shopping is likely to take if they venture out on their lunch. Longer queues, perhaps more brawls, and a packed car park are all factors guaranteed to increase the likelihood of your employees being late. You could offer them a late lunch to get round this, or work through their lunch and start or finish earlier. Occasionally lateness genuinely cannot be helped, but you should ensure that your employees take on board the extra time needed, and manage their time effectively – especially on this date.

Internet Security: Online Transactions

While individuals should take ultimate responsibility for inputting their bank details online, as an employer, you must also exercise due diligence when it comes to internet security for your company. Before Black Friday, it is worth double checking and making sure that robust firewall systems are in place, and if necessary, consult with your IT team to ensure your systems are adequately protected.

Cyber Monday

Black Friday isn’t normally the only day to deliver on the discount front. Although it derives from the United States originally, nowadays Cyber Monday is also anticipated in the UK. Cyber Monday will fall on 27 November this year. While it’s normally a diluted version of Black Friday, you should be also be mindful of and plan ahead for this follow-on date.

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