Read our blog about sporting events – specifically the Euro 2021 tournament

  • Set ground rules for holiday requests

  • Monitor sickness absence

  • Consider allowing flexible working

It’s coming home…. Or maybe it isn’t, who knows!

Love it or hate it, everyone will be impacted in some way by the up coming Euro 2020 (+1) tournament. Games start on 11th June, with the final taking place on 11th July.

But what do sporting events have to do with HR and employment? Well there are a few things employers may need to consider during Euro month.

Luckily all England’s games in the first round are on a weekend or evening, but there are other countries whose games kick off throughout the week at 2pm and in our diverse workplaces, you may have supporters from all different countries who want to book annual leave for game days, leading you to have to deal with an influx of holiday requests for the same day. Make sure you have a fair, robust way of dealing with holiday requests. You might also want to consider allowing shift swaps or unpaid leave if appropriate.

Venues for the fixtures are spread across Europe, with games taking place in Rome, Baku, Saint Petersburg, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Seville, Munich and Budapest, along with Glasgow and London. Fans will be allowed in the stadiums (albeit in reduced numbers) so you may have employees wanting to travel abroad to watch their team. They’ll need to take into account government restrictions in relation to quarantine upon return (at present there is an exemption on quarantine for ticket holders going to Budapest and Saint Petersburg), which may mean an additional 10 days off work if they can’t work from home.

Some people like to drink excessive amounts of alcohol during sporting events, which could lead to increased sickness absences rates for the morning after, so make it clear to employees from the outset that it isn’t acceptable to overindulge and not turn up for work the next day. Consider if you can allow them to take holidays for that “day after the night before” and check your sickness absence policy, making sure you have triggers in place for absence management.

Another thing you may want to revisit is your internet policy – employees who are in work during key matches may spend more time on the internet checking the scores, or even trying to watch the game. If you have a heavy football fan contingent, you might want to consider installing a tv in a suitable place and allowing employees to take time out to watch their team, or offering some flexible working around games (although make sure this is available to all so you don’t discriminate against non-football fans).

Keep an eye out for banter between opposing team supporters, friendly conversation is fine, but can quickly turn nasty where people are passionate about their team. Make sure you are on hand to nip any offensive behaviour in the bud.

Above all, set some friendly ground rules in place now and everyone should be able to enjoy the tournament (even if they don’t want to watch it) – you can also apply those rules to any other major sporting events throughout the year.

Do you have questions about sporting events?

Give us a call at CUBE HR, we’ll be happy to advise you and we have policies and templates available to meet every HR need.

Why not check out our other blogs Banter – When Banter Turns Bad

You can also watch a range of other videos on our YouTube channel