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How might Euro 2016 impact the workplace?

From Friday, 10 June until Sunday, 10 July 2016 there will be football matches played at various times of the day between 2pm and 8pm.  Whilst not everybody is a football fan if too many employees try to book the same days off to watch the matches, it could cause problems in the workplace.

How should we decide who can have time off?

You should follow your usual holiday booking policy. Typically employers will assess how many employees are able to take time off at one time without unduly impacting colleagues or business requirements.

If requests have to be refused it would be good practice to explain why and the employee might be encouraged to put their request in earlier if they want time off to watch another game.

In some circumstances, it may also be possible to allow staff to swap shifts or allow staff to take a break during match times.

What if an employee is refused holiday but reports in sick?

If you suspect that an employee has been dishonest regarding the reason for their absence this should be addressed at a back to work interview. If you are still not satisfied with the explanation, it may be appropriate to proceed to investigate the matter as a disciplinary issue.

What if employees are using social media to follow the matches during working hours?

An IT or Social Media Policy may restrict access by employees during working hours. Employees may need to be reminded of those restrictions during the tournament.

On the other hand, it is also possible that the employer may decide it wants to relax the restrictions during the tournament and this too should be communicated to the workforce.

An alternative approach might be to allow staff access to other means of being kept up to date with the tournament, for example allowing for radio coverage to be played.

What if employees arrive for work under the influence of alcohol?

It might be common for some to drink alcohol while watching football, but it would be unacceptable for an employee to attend work under the influence of alcohol. This should normally be dealt with under the disciplinary procedures.

There may be a specific reference to alcohol in the disciplinary policy which should be referred to in any formal proceedings.

If employees are due in work shortly after one of the more popular matches it would be sensible to issue a reminder of the workplace rules in relation to alcohol.

If you have any questions which we have missed, comment below, or email blogs@gateleyplc.com.


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This blog is intended only as a synopsis of certain recent developments. If any matter referred to in this blog is sought to be relied upon, further advice should be obtained.