Create A Happy Workplace During Major Sporting Events and Prevent Employees Skiving Off!

We also have Wimbledon commencing on 1st July 2019 which is good news for Tennis fans but not necessary for employers!

Employers generally face loss of productivity when sporting events are on, due to too much celebrating/commiserating the night before, or staff wishing to watch their favourite team/player and not turning up to work. 

Unlike the Women’s FIFA CUP, Wimbledon matches do take place during working hours.  Historically, clients I have spoken to have seen a rise in the number of holiday requests for the big matches, which is fine but they are also concerned about an increased risk of unauthorised employee absence.

To minimise unauthorised absences, you could make it clear to employees that absences without authorisation will not be paid.

If you have a ‘Dealing with Employee Sickness and Absence/Sickness And Absence Policy’ that states a return to work interview will be undertaken when the employee returns form his/her & day it is sensible to remind all staff of such a policy. This should, in turn, prevent employees using sick leave so that they can watch matches or recover from a post-game hangover.

There is a greater risk of employees being drunk or hungover at work during sporting events, so it is wise to remind employees of your ‘Drugs and Alcohol Policies’ and if you don't have one, get one drafted!

If your staff are heading out for lunch to watch a quick hour of Wimbledon one of the many screens shown throughout central London squares, remind employees that Pimms, as much as it is a refreshing staple whist watching tennis, they are not at Wimbledon and they have a full afternoon of work to undertake.

As an employer it is sensible to consider:

  1. Encouraging employees to take half days off as annual leave.
  2. Relaxing the cap on the number of employees allowed on holiday at once.
  3. If you have a boardroom with a large TV why show matches at lunch time? (Make sure you have a TV licence for the premises!)
  4. You may wish to allow some work flexibly around match times, allowing staff to come in earlier and then take extended lunch breaks. Be aware that that flexi-time should be available to staff for other reasons such as childcare arrangements!

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