Both the TUC and ACAS suggest that during the world cup employers try to be as flexible as possible in accommodating those who may wish to watch the world cup matches, be they supporters of the England team or indeed any other national team. This makes sense particularly in a year in which morale in many workforces across the country may be low due to redundancies, short time working or lower than expected bonuses or commission. Allowing workers a bit of flexibility or time off to get carried away and have a bit of fun (or maybe not if their team losses?) could give workers a bit of a boost and shouldn’t cost employer’s much if anything.
The best summary we found on how employer’s should deal with workers during the weeks that follows can be found on the ACAS website, www.acas.org.uk, we have here a short summary of their advice.
Employers should try to be:
- flexible, where possible – for example, by altering start and finish times during the working day or allowing longer lunch break. Remember to balance the needs of your whole workforce including those who don’t have an interest in the World Cup.
- clear about what you expect from employees – in terms of attendance and performance during the World Cup. Managing employees expectations of what might be possible is key to keeping them onside
- communicative – start talking to each other now about the World Cup and how you hope to manage leave and working hours
- open and honest – if you cannot accommodate any changes to your work practices then say so. Also, you may need to remind employees that any special arrangements for watching matches are only temporary
- fair – you need to be seen to be fair and not to discriminate about the way you respond to requests for time off and avoid favouritism – don’t forget to ensure those people who aren’t interested in football aren’t in some way treated differently as a consequence, such as those with caring responsibilities, for example.