ACAS Guidance: Don’t Score an Own Goal with Your Staff this World Cup
Just in time for kick off, ACAS have issued guidance to ensure that employers avoid potential World Cup related staff issues. As you are no doubt aware, the World Cup begins in earnest on Thursday 14 June and games are to be played throughout the day Monday to Sunday until the World Cup Final that is to take place on Sunday 15 July. The earliest kick off time is 1pm BST which will no doubt clash with work commitments.
It is acknowledged by ACAS that the World Cup will cause workplace disruption and it is advised that businesses should plan ahead and consider the following during the World Cup period:
- Time Off
It is accepted that workplaces must have minimum levels of staff available and working at any one time in order to remain productive. The World Cup may cause disruption in this regard and to ensure that staff are kept on-side, staff may look to be more flexible and co-operative in regards to leave during the World Cup.
Don’t forget, apply the same approach to leave as with other major sporting events to ensure consistency and fairness!
- Sickness Absence
There is the potential for abuse of the company’s sickness policy during the World Cup and employers should carefully monitor absences during this period, e.g. high levels of sickness absence or attendance issues.
- Social Media and Website Use
An increase in social media usage is likely during the World Cup and it would be prudent to remind staff of any social media policies in place to avoid potential issues.
Likewise, there is the potential for staff to attempt to watch the games on the internet during working hours – it is recommended that policies should be clear on what is and isn’t allowed.
Be flexible to avoid staff discontent – consider allowing flexible dinner breaks during match times, shift swapping and flexible working hours. Remember, you must be fair and consistent with ALL staff, not just those wishing to watch the football.
It is reminded that any change/flexibility should be approved in advance.
- Drinking or Being Under the Influence at Work
The World Cup season could create alcohol related problems as people may like to grab a pint or two during the match – it is likely that your company will prohibit drinking/being under the influence at work and, as such, staff should be reminded of this and any policies you may have in place.
This bulletin is for general guidance purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose.
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