Are you ready for the ‘summer of sport’?

If you’re a sports fan, this summer is likely to be a busy one for you! With major sporting events such as the UEFA European football championships, Wimbledon and the Rio Olympics to name but a few, this summer in particular is set to be dominated by sport.

With such hype and expectation around many of the summer’s sporting events, it is inevitable that employees will want to join in the sporting fever and watch some of the action. However, with several fixtures falling within normal ‘working hours’, coupled with the school holidays and higher than normal levels of staff on annual leave, the forthcoming ‘summer of sport’ may cause a headache for employers.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with potential staff issues relating to sporting events.

Have clear policies in place.

The first step to tackling staff absence issues in relation to sporting events is to have clear policies in place. This doesn’t just apply for staff absence – it isn’t unheard of for staff to arrive at work the morning after a big sporting event with a hangover. If you do not have one already, it is worth considering a policy in relation to excessive alcohol consumption that impacts on staff performance.

Be fair and consistent.

If you are considering allowing staff to finish early to get home and watch a sports fixture, or otherwise making arrangements for them to watch the match/event in the workplace, remember to consider all staff members. Not all employees are football fans, for example, and they certainly won’t all support the same team. Although a gesture that is likely to be appreciated by the majority of staff, making such allowances can lead to issues down the line, particularly if you do not make the same allowances for staff of other nationalities.

A happy workplace is an effective workplace.

It usually follows that if you are flexible with your workforce and make allowances as suggested above, your efforts will be appreciated. Most staff will not take liberties, and many will be happy to put in additional work to make up for any lost time. However, if any unauthorised absence or other issues are flagged up, be sure to act early wherever possible. In advance of the summer period, it may be prudent to remind managers of the rules in relation to staff absence, including notification procedures for any periods of absence, obtaining sickness notes and conducting back to work interviews.

If you are concerned about staff issues in relation to the summer’s sporting fixtures, or would like further advice on your current absence policies/procedures, please contact either: Pam McColl or Amanda Houlgrave or call us on 0161 312 1864.

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