Minimise distractions during the Rugby World Cup

Patrick Whelan

September 17 2019

The Rugby World Cup 2019 kicks off this coming Friday, with hosts Japan getting the tournament underway against Russia.

But that’s not the match we have our eye on. Ireland face their first test against Scotland on Sunday, beginning what could be a historic tournament for the boys in green.

It goes without saying that the whole country will be behind our sporting heroes on their journey. The downside is that one or two issues may pop up in the workplace during the workweek. The most obvious problem employers may face is employees watching matches instead of working.

And when their attention turns to the match, they might drop the ball…

Policies and penalties

As the No 1 team in the world, it’s only right that we’re hopeful of ultimate success. A knock-on effect is that your employees could very well be a little over-eager to watch every minute. And if that happens, productivity will slump.

Some of the main HR issues that tend to come up during a high profile sporting event are:

  • Multiple annual leave requests
  • Flexible working
  • Internet and phone use
  • Workplace conduct

So to discourage employees from watching games on the sly, it's a good idea to remind them what your policies say on these issues.  

A specific sporting events policy

You might even introduce a specific sporting events policy that would apply when all major sporting events take place.

This policy would clarify the rules around following the action during work hours and refer to the related policies outlined above.

Get this policy together before the tournament begins. This will give you the chance to make your employees aware of its rules and the repercussions.

You can also recycle it to suit future sporting events.

Maintain a level playing field

Of course, preventing employees from keeping track of the Rugby World Cup could lead to its own problems. That’s why it’s important to consider how you can accommodate the super-fans in your workforce. For instance, you might let them watch matches during break periods.

Employees might also want to use annual leave around the RWC, which again is something you will have to consider. Be fair when it comes to granting requests for annual leave ─ any favouritism could lead to discrimination claims.

The die-hards are always going to find a way of staying up to date with their team. While you can’t keep an eye on everyone all the time, your sporting events policy will cover you if any issues do arise.

If you have any questions regarding the Rugby World Cup and how it may impact your workplace, contact our 24-hour advice service on 1890 252 923.  You can also complete a contact form to receive a callback.

 

Suggested Resources