Why is this significant for employers?
England’s campaign starts today when we play Iran and history has shown that major sporting events can disrupt working patterns.
Depending how the previous games have gone it could be a crucial match or a non- event (don’t be too pessimistic ) and consideration needs to be given as to how this could affect your workplace. In the past some employers have found that when major events take place their have staffing issues which can affect their business such as unauthorised absences, sickness and conflicts over who can take time off.
The scheduling of the matches and time-zone differences between the UK and Qatar means thankfully most games start in the evening UK time, , so for many businesses disruption should be minimal however it will be a challenge for those with 24 or nightshift operations.
Past experience including the Olympics shows however that if employers don’t decide on their policy early it can cause workplace difficulties – particularly if the ‘home teams’ progress through to the later stages of the competition (fingers crossed!). Don’t forget the ‘home team’ may not be England especially if you have Welsh Staff
Options you may want to consider include:
- Allowing staff to take holiday on a first come first served basis, providing cover is available.
- Allowing staff to come in early so that they can finish early on specific days (or work through their lunch)
- Installing a television at work and using the matches as an opportunity for a staff ‘social’.
- Making it clear that unauthorised absences will be treated through your disciplinary policy.
Whatever you decide you need to ensure that it does not leave a section of your workforce feeling unfairly treated (not everyone will be interested in the football), and you may at this early stage want to ask for ideas from your employees.