19 Jun 2018
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia on 14 June. While the timing of the games mean that England matches are not during normal office hours, employers need to take steps to minimise any disruption.
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Top Tips for Employers
- Sporting Event Policy: This can be used not only for the World Cup, but other big sporting events too. The policy should cover HR and H&S and outline any exceptions you might be making for a major sporting event.
- Request for Leave: All requests for leave should be considered fairly. As not everyone likes football, a consistent approach should be applied for leave requests for other major sporting events.
- Refusing Requests: You are well within your rights to refuse time-off or annual leave if you receive too many requests, or if it is clear that your business will not be able to cope with the requested absence.
- Attendance Levels: Levels of attendance should be monitored during this period in accordance with the company’s policy. Watch out for high levels of sickness or late attendance due to post-match celebrations!
- Flexible Working: Consider flexible working with employees arriving a little later or finishing early and making the time up. Any change in hours or flexible working should be approved before the event and be fair to all.
- Embrace Diversity: Most organisations have a diverse workforce. Supporting informal social events which encourage awareness of world events, whilst having fun, can be a great way of celebrating diversity.
- Internet Policy: Remind staff of any policies regarding the use of the internet and social media during working hours. These policies should make clear what is and is not acceptable web use.
- Alcohol Policy: Watching the game in a pub before work is an employee’s prerogative but turning up to work under the influence of alcohol may be a disciplinary offence. Remind employees of your alcohol policy.
- Employee Conduct: Employees may get carried away with rivalries during the World Cup. This isn’t an excuse for verbal abuse in the workplace, especially as any abuse could hold discriminatory connotations.
- Watching the Games: Broadcasting the game in a communal area is a good way of ensuring employees don’t take time off to watch games and it lets you keep a close eye on anyone who is taking advantage.
- Have Fun: Embracing the World Cup can be a great way to bring people together. Relaxing some of the rules (for example, allowing staff to wear football shirts) will not go unnoticed and can boost morale in the workplace.
If you need assistance with any of the issues raised in this infographic, health & safety, or HR, please call 01455 858 132.
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