World Cup 2014 – Our Employment Solicitors Show Employers How to Avoid An Own Goal

Employment Solicitors advising on sporting eventsWith the world cup starting, it’s a good time for employers to be aware of some of the legal issues that might arise. Our employment solicitors give a few tips on what you need to consider.

1    Flexible hours

Allowing staff flexibility over starting and finishing work earlier or later is an option you might consider. Alternatively, you may want to allow staff time off to watch games providing they make the time up on another day.

2    Shift swaps

At the last World Cup, McDonald’s introduced a ‘shift swap’ scheme for all staff to allow them to rearrange their shifts around different games. You may want to consider something similar.

3    Unpaid leave

Have you thought about providing unpaid leave for staff? During the 2006 football World Cup, Asda gave all of its UK employees the chance to take up to two weeks’ unpaid leave during the tournament.

4    Keeping track of events on the Internet

Employers should remind employees of their internet use and monitoring policies. It is up to you whether you allow employees to keep track of events, allow a level of flexibility, or take a zero-tolerance approach. However, the important thing is to communicate to staff what the policy is and why, and then enforce it consistently.

5    TV licensing

Did you know that you need a TV licence if employees are watching live football matches on their computers?

6    Managing Absence

You may need to remind staff of your policy on absence, making clear that there are disciplinary consequences if they take unauthorised time off to watch the match (or to recover from the effects of alcohol!) We recommend that you speak to an employment solicitor if you are considering any disciplinary action.

7    Avoiding Discrimination

Not everyone supports England. If you are considering adopting flexible working arrangements, these should not discriminate against staff who support teams other than England. Also, staff should be aware that any racist conduct or comments will not be tolerated. What starts as ‘harmless banter’ could lead to an Employment Tribunal claim, unless you have taken measures to train your staff in equal opportunities.

Do you need advice from an employment solicitor?

Our employment solicitors aim is to help you protect your business by staying on the right side of employment law. If you do need any further legal  advice, please feel free to get in touch.

Legal Advice for Employers