Euro 2024: Employer Considerations

Georgia Veitch
Georgia Veitch
Trainee Solicitor
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After months of build-up, Euro 2024 is finally upon us. Of course, the buzz and excitement will be felt in workplaces up and down the country, with office sweepstakes and lunch time tactical discussions being order of the day. Harnessed correctly, this can be a great opportunity to boost office morale and to facilitate employees bonding with each other over something different from the normal daily grind.

However, not everything comes to a standstill when the football is on, and employers will be keen to ensure that they strike the balance between allowing employees to enjoy the festivities while also ensuring that their operations are not disrupted or adversely affected by the football being on.

We have summarised below some important considerations for employers during Euro 2024:

  • Employees requesting time off to watch matches – Employers may find themselves struggling to deal with an increased volume of holiday requests from employees. We would always encourage employers to deal with holiday requests as fairly and consistently as possible (both for football fans and non-football fans alike), granting holiday requests where operationally feasible. Where employers are unable to approve a holiday request, they may wish to consider other compromise arrangements with employees, such as granting employees extended breaks or early finishes so they can watch the football and then allowing them to work back the hours.
  • Ensure employees are aware of their responsibilities outside of work – Many employees will choose to watch the football in the pub with friends and family. As such, employers may well find themselves dealing with an increase in employees waking up with sore heads and phoning in sick. In the smartphone age, employers should also be wary of reputational damage caused by an employee’s activity on social media. It is therefore important that employers have up-to-date policies dealing with sickness absence, alcohol and drugs, social media and general disciplinary matters. Employees should be reminded of their responsibilities under these policies, and the policies themselves should be applied fairly and consistently when dealing with any employee relations issues that may arise.
  • Maintain an inclusive workplace – There are 24 nations taking part in Euro 2024, so it is important that employers are mindful of treating fans of all nations equally, without giving preferential treatment to English or Scottish members of staff. Care should be taken to ensure that football does not take over the workplace and that employees who don’t follow it still feel valued and included as part of the wider team.

If you would like to discuss any workplace issues arising from Euro 2024, or if we can assist on any other employment law matter, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0141 331 5150.

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