The World Cup runs from Thursday 12th June 2014 until Sunday 13th July 2014. During this time issues such as an increased number of requests for annual leave, internet use during working hours and sickness absences are likely to arise. It is key for the Employer to be more flexible than usual during this time but the overall need to maintain a certain working standard should prevail.
Requests for Annual Leave: Your annual leave policy should still stand however Employer’s may wish to be more flexible during this period on the understanding that it is only for a brief period of time. Employees should be made aware that special arrangements cannot always be possible and that the work still needs to come first. It is important that the Employer gives a fair approach to all requests and applies consistent rules to other major sporting events.
Use of Internet: Employers should ensure that their policy regarding internet use is available and accessible to all employees and sets out clearly what is not acceptable usage. If you are monitoring internet usage then you must make it clear to all Employees that it is happening in accordance with data protection regulations.
Sickness: The Employer’s sickness policy will still be applicable and levels of absence should be monitored during the World Cup in accordance with usual procedure. Any unauthorised absence or patterns in absence could result in formal proceedings.
Other general tips:
If you have a clear no alcohol policy at work then it may be worth sending a reminder to all Employees that that is still applicable during this time.
It may be worth agreeing to a more flexible day, for example Employees coming in earlier so that they can leave earlier.
Employer’s could also consider allowing staff to swap shifts if they are all in agreement.
If the Employer allows additional benefits during the World Cup, they must ensure to be fair and consistent to all members of staff.
If you would like any further advice on this please contact Richard Monkcom, Partner and Charles Avens, Solicitor, in Druces LLP’s Employment Team.