The 2015 Rugby World Cup kicks off in September here in the UK.  Employers need to plan ahead to minimise disruption.
Avoid problems arising in relation to this year’s competition by following our World Cup tips for employers.

Plan for competing World Cup holiday requests
Employers may find themselves having to deal with a number of competing requests for annual leave. If they can’t accommodate everyone, they need to ensure that they deal with the requests fairly and consistently, and manage employees’ expectations as to whether or not they will get the time off.

Allow employees to follow matches during working hours
The World Cup presents employers with an opportunity to increase engagement by recognising that allowing staff to follow matches during working hours will be very important to some employees and should introduce some flexibility to allow this, where possible. For example, employers could choose to screen key matches in the workplace.

Deter employees from calling in sick when they are not ill
If the nature of the business means that employers can’t accommodate requests for annual leave, or allow employees to follow matches at work, they might be worried that employees will call in sick rather than miss an important match. Employers could consider putting in place measures to monitor absence, to deter employees from calling in sick unless they are genuinely ill.

Avoid problems caused by excessive internet use
If a large number of employees stream a match to their desktops all at the same time, there could be an effect on the employer’s network, as well as on general productivity levels. Employers should make clear their policy on internet use, whether or not they decide to relax this in relation to the world cup, and should keep an eye out for excessive use.

Beware the risk of discrimination
Of course, many employees will have no interest at all in the World Cup, and not all employees who are passionate followers of their national team will be supporting England. Employers need to make sure that no particular groups are disadvantaged by their policies during the World Cup – for example, in the way they handle requests for time off or flexible working to watch matches. Employers also need to take steps to prevent behaviour that could amount to harassment.

Make sure employees know what is expected of them
To avoid issues such as misconduct, absenteeism and harassment, employers need to make sure that employees are aware of the rules in advance of the tournament.

We recommend issuing a sporting events policy to cover annual leave requests, internet use, absence monitoring and a range of other points, to ensure that employees know what special measures are in place.

In our toolkit we have a Time Off For Sporting Events Policy all ready for you….   Please give us a call to discuss your options. We’re a friendly bunch and really keen to make a difference to your business by finding a solution that works for you and your business so call us on 01473 360160.