Member Article

Managing The World Cup

Andrew Twineham, Partner of Jacksons Law Firm is advising employers that they need to prepare for the World Cup.

ACAS has issued guidance suggesting that it is a “team game”. In short, employers and employees need to cooperate with one another to ensure minimal loss of productivity – and who knows, after a win increased productivity!

Employees are likely to be asking what rights they have to time off.

Employers are more likely to be asking what they can do to ensure that they have a present (and productive) workforce and whether or not they can take action against employees who take unauthorised absence or turn up for work the worse for wear.

With proper planning employers ought to be able to foresee and manage potential difficulties. It will come as no surprise that there is no entitlement to time off to watch football! Within reason, employers are entitled to require employees not to take time off by way of holiday at any particular time.

Employers should review their policies and procedures regarding holiday entitlement and in particular, the notice requirements. Now would be a prudent time to remind employees of those policies and procedures and, in particular, the consequences of failure to follow the policies and procedures or of taking unauthorised absence.

That sets the ground rules and will place employers on a strong footing in the event that it becomes necessary to take action against any employee who has acted in breach of the procedures or taken unauthorised absence.

Employers are advised to be flexible where possible for example by altering start and finishing times. They should remember however that they need to balance the needs of the whole workforce – not everyone is a football fan! Moreover not all football fans support England. Some employees of different nationalities will be following other teams. They must be given the same degree of flexibility as England fans. Otherwise employers may face a claim for discrimination.

Andrew Twineham who is based at Jacksons Tees Valley office also warns employers to be careful not to give football special status. He reminds employers that the World Cup coincides with Wimbledon as well. If employers are flexible with one they need to be flexible with the other. He comments that Scots may not be following the World Cup but they may well be following Andy Murray!

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For further information, please contact Jan Wilson, Marketing Assistant, Jacksons Law Firm at jwilson@jacksons-law.com or on 01642 356509

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by jan wilson .

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