Euro 2016 – In advance of England’s ‘Must win’ football match against Iceland tonight (Monday 27th June – which they subsequently lost 2-1!) in the UEFA European Championship 2016 acas have issued guidance for employers to avoid possible conflict between staff within the contact centre.
Overall, flexibility from both employers and employees throughout the European Cup period is key to a productive business and engaged workforce.
Before the start of the European Cup or any major sporting event it would be best to have agreements in place regarding such issues as time off, sickness absence or even watching TV during these events.
By working together both employers and employees will understand the needs of each party. But in challenging times, a more flexible approach (eg. to working hours, annual leave) may not always be possible as the employer will need to maintain a certain working level.
A company’s annual leave policy should give guidance as to how to book time off. Employers may wish to look at being more flexible when allowing employees leave during this period, with the understanding that this will be temporary arrangement. Employees should remember that special arrangements may not always be possible. The key is for both parties to try and come to an agreement.
All leave requests should be considered fairly by all employers, and a consistent approach taken to other major sporting events in granting leave.
Remember not everyone likes football!
Organisations’ sickness policies will still apply during this time, and these policies should be operated fairly and consistently for all staff.
Levels of attendance should be monitored during this period in accordance with the attendance policy – any unauthorised absence or patterns in absence could result in formal proceedings.
This could include the monitoring of high levels of sickness, late attendance or lower levels of performance at work due to post event celebrations.
One option that may be agreeable would be to have a more flexible working day, when employees may come in a little later or finish sooner, and then agree when this time can be made up.
Employers may allow staff to swap shifts with the manager’s permission or allow staff to take a break during match times. Allowing staff to listen to the radio or watch the TV may be another possible option.
It is important to be fair and consistent with all staff if you allow additional benefits during the European Cup. Any change in hours or flexibility in working hours should be approved before the event.
Use of social networking sites and websites
There may be an increase in the use of social networking sites or sporting websites covering the European Cup.
There may be problems around staff watching lengthy coverage via their computers or on personal devices. Employers should have a clear policy regarding web use in the workplace and the policy should be cascaded to all employees.
If employers are monitoring internet usage then the data protection regulations require them to make it clear that it is happening to all employees. A web use policy should make clear what is and what is not acceptable usage.
Drinking or being under the influence at work
Some people may like to participate in a drink or two while watching the match or even may go to the pub to watch a match live.
It is important to remember that anyone caught drinking at work or found to be under the influence of alcohol in the workplace could be subject to disciplinary procedures.
There may be a clear no alcohol policy at work and employees may need a reminder.
For additional information on acas visit their Website