Football’s Coming (Home).

It’s not just the football World Cup that’s coming, but also Wimbledon and the Commonwealth Games in the next two months.  Fortunately for employers, kick-off times for the World Cup are mainly after normal daytime working hours with England’s earliest group stage match starting at 5pm.  Not so with the other two.

Acas have issued “advice and guidance” on the World Cup and it’s all common sense:

• Consider requests for annual leave fairly
• Operate absence procedures fairly – unauthorised absence, patterns in absence, high levels of sickness absence and “late attendance due to post match hangovers” can all result in formal action being taken against employees
• Allow staff a more flexible working day, to swap shifts or to watch television at work where practicable
• Have a clear policy on the use of the internet and social networking sites on company equipment during working hours
• Drinking alcohol or being under the influence at work may result in disciplinary action, depending upon the terms of any disciplinary or alcohol policy

This is all good stuff for managing your workforce’s interest in the forthcoming sporting events.  Hopefully, you have all relevant policies already in place (as you wouldn’t want their sudden introduction to appear as a grumpy knee-jerk reaction to the imminent summer of sport)!

And if you do have all relevant policies already in place, there’s probably no need to start reminding staff of each and every policy that they might be liable to breach.  If you want to maintain productivity and an engaged workforce, perhaps just a quick note to tell them that the television will be on at certain times and that they should be mindful of their normal working commitments will be enough.  You could even use the World Cup as a team-bonding exercise by positively engaging in the festivities.

We hope you enjoy the World Cup, but if you’d like a break from all the sport, perhaps you’d like to look at our new Employment pages on our website, where we ask “What would you like (us) to do?”

And finally, if you haven’t yet signed up for our Employment Workshop and Summer Quiz, you can find further details here.  There are still a few spaces left.

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