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The 2016 UEFA European Championship kicks off next month in France. This year three of the home nations will be taking part in the competition including Wales who will be featuring in the finals of a major football tournament for the first time since 1958.

The matches will be taking place in stadia throughout France culminating in the final on Sunday 10th July in the Stade de France.

Football fans unable to attend the matches will be watching the games in their homes, pubs, official fanzone’s and just about anywhere else they can view a television. It is anticipated that due to England, Wales and Northern Ireland all being involved, viewing figures will potentially break records.

Unfortunately, some of the key games in the initial group stages are scheduled to kick off during the working day, including the Wales v England match at 2pm on Thursday 16th June.

Safeguarding Business and Personal Interest During Euro 2016

How can employers and employees work together to safeguard their business and personal interests during the tournament?

Here we provide our HR top tips to ensure maximum enjoyment, with minimum disruption, during Euro 2016.

1. Employers could make sure everyone knows when and what time the matches are taking place, so employees have the opportunity to book the time off if they want. 

To avoid empty offices or production lines, make it clear that holiday requests will be dealt with on a first come, first served basis, with a maximum number per department. 

Employers should refer to the employee handbook to maintain consistency with responses.

2. The majority of employees will have access to the internet, be it via business computers, their personal smartphones or tablets, which they might bring to work to watch the games on.  

Employers should review and implement (if required) a Social Media Policy, IT policy and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy to ensure everyone is aware of what they can and cannot do.

3. Occasionally, some matches can cause friendly rivalry in the workplace between people supporting teams playing each other. To minimise the risk of any potential grievances or discrimination claims, it would be wise to remind all staff that such behaviour is not acceptable.

4. Some employees enjoy watching a game with a drink or two. Whilst there are no problems with this, employers need to be mindful that employees might still be under the influence the next day. This can affect productivity and raise some Health & Safety issues, especially if the operation of equipment or driving is involved.  

Employers may want to review whether they can offer flexi-time during these periods or encourage those planning to watch the game to consider taking the following day off as annual leave.

5. …and finally, use Euro 2016 to boost staff morale!

On a positive note, it's also good to remember that national sporting events can raise staff morale with some employers putting on social events or introducing a sweepstake. Employers could consider bringing a TV into work or inviting employees to watch the match on TV’s in the building with an agreement that they work the time back.

Will You Be Watching Euro 2016?

If you would like to discuss the above in more detail, please contact us on 02920 404020.

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