Employee absence during major sporting events

A quick guide for managing employee absence during major sporting events

It’s a good idea to know how to manage employee absence during major sporting events. We know some employee’s can be more fanatical than others when it comes to sports.

We’re currently embracing Euro 2016, Wimbledon is imminent and before we know it the Rio 2016 Olympics will be upon us (5th – 21st August).

Act wisely and invest a little time to check your internal procedures are efficient in managing employee absence during upcoming major sporting events.

We know work life balance is important and many companies have embraced flexible working into their culture but will it extend to major sporting events? For employers helping maintain a productive and happy workforce is not an easy balance to get right during such times. We have to remember it’s still business as usual.

Why be proactive with employee absence during major sporting events?

Proactive management of employee absence during major sporting events (and on an everyday basis) is always better than being reactive because it helps you plan and reduce the time taken to manage the aftermath of unexpected absence.

Planning ahead will benefit your business. Spend a little time now and save yourself a lot of time dealing with the resulting issues of unplanned absence.

Think about this, do you really want to spend time dealing with investigations, taking statements, checking facts and potentially a disciplinary procedure for employees that may take unauthorised absence during major sporting events?

 Have you considered implementing a ‘time off policy’ for major sporting events?

Consider implementing a policy covering time off for major sporting events. Factors to consider are:

  • Is it generally a quiet or busy time of the year for your business while these events are on?
  • June, July  and August tends to be peak time for annual leave therefore can your business manage with potential additional absence?
  • Will you be able to accommodate extra time off, how will it be managed, possibly a first come first served basis?
  • Will employees have to use annual leave or will they be allowed to take unpaid leave?
  • All businesses have key players, is there any risk of discrimination or unfair practice if the business cannot allow them time off
  • Will you install a big screen and allow employees time off during the working day?
  • What to do when an employee calls in sick & you’re not sure that’s the case.

Have you checked your sickness absence policy lately for legal compliance?

Invest a little time in reviewing your sickness absence policy. Identify if it is as effective and beneficial to your business as you would like. Be confident it does not present a risk of discrimination.

Here are some elements to consider, does it provide for:

  • A clear process for employees to follow when they are unfit for work such as call and speak to a manager before 9.00am
  • Does it state a requirement to provide a self-certification form/fit note dependent on the length of absence?
  • Advise of communication through periods of absence
  • Do you reserve the right to request the employee to see occupational health/a GP?
  • Does it state the payment an employee will get during a period of sickness?
  • Is it clear payment is conditional upon procedure being followed?
  • Are the consequences clear for failing to follow the procedure?
  • Does it allow for a return to work meeting?

Look for absence patterns, specifically those before or just after a sporting event. Do patterns of absence fall at the time an employee has been refused time off?

If you need help with any aspect of employee absence or would just like your policy reviewed then contact us at Jude Read-HR Consultancy and we will be happy to help.

Although this information is brief, it does serve to help you plan and manage potential employee absence, both authorised and not authorised during this busy time of major sporting events.

Here’s hoping everyone gets the opportunity to enjoy them.

Call us today to discuss how we can help 01455 231982 | 07716 918272

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