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Euro 2016 – Keep your team on the ball

Euro 2016 – Keep your team on the ball

Keep your team on the ball without scoring an own goal!

Mark Ridley, Band Hatton Button Employment Law Specialist, discusses implications of Euro 2016 on Employers and Employees.
As millions of football fans gear up for Euro 2016 the question playing on many employers' minds is how to keep their own team on the ball without scoring an own goal.

Interest in a football competition has never been higher as it's the first time in decades that England, Wales, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are all competing in the same tournament together.

There will also be a selection of games that are played during normal working hours at 2pm, most notably when England play Wales on Thursday, 16 June which will divide workforces around the UK.

Major sporting tournaments like Euro 2016 are a timely reminder for many employers to review the policies they have set out in the workplace, ranging from internet use, to sick leave and holiday entitlement.

So ahead of the tournament, I've set out some suggestions below on ways to avoid any potential disagreements with members of staff:

  • Adopt flexible working hours - If too many staff have already booked the day off work, it could be worth looking at allowing members of staff the option to come into work two hours early or work two hours later to accommodate them watching the football. This way, production levels don't drop.
  • Piggy back on to the event - Use Euro 2016 to boost team morale by having a big screen in the canteen or office, and even operate a pay-to-view policy to fundraise for charity.
  • Reinforce sickness policy - Reminding members of staff about your awareness of the tournament and the sickness policy that is in place is likely to deter anyone from thinking of "pulling a sickie."
  • Avoid discrimination - It's worth giving other people who aren't interested in football the opportunity to take time off before holiday becomes fully-booked for a particular day.
  • Create a policy around sporting events - These sporting-related issues occur every two years, so it's worth consulting with staff about guidelines about setting up an agreed set of rules well in advance of the event taking place.

If you wish to receive any advice in relation to employment law, please contact Mark Ridley, Head of Employment, on (024) 7663 2121.

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