Navigating a summer of sport

  • Employee Conduct
a summer of sport
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

This summer there’s a whole host of sporting events taking place. From Euro 2024, Olympics, European Athletics Championships, to Wimbledon, there’s lots going on across a range of different sports. So, grab yourself a half-time orange or some strawberries and cream whilst we run through some HR points to consider before it all kicks-off.

What should I do if I get lots of requests for annual leave?

You might find that you get lots of requests from employees who want time off work to watch the match, and they might want to take the day off after it as well to recover. The requests could also come in last minute if the team an employee supports makes it further in the competition than was expected.

In the run up to the event, remind employees that if they would like to book any annual leave, they will need to do so in line with company policy. Then when you receive holiday requests, make sure that you deal with them fairly. Don’t prioritise requests from employees who support certain teams.

What if employees want to watch it during work?

An employee may want to know what is happening and how their team or favourite competitor is doing. If an employee tries to watch it on their phone or repeatedly access news websites, it could impact productivity. An option, to gain some control, is to set up TVs to allow employees to watch it at work. It can be great for morale but bear in mind that you will need to set clear ground rules first and check that there is a TV licence in place.

Check out BrAInbox for instant answers to questions like:

What do I do if my employee calls in sick to watch a sporting event?

How do I manage absences during big sporting events?

How do I deal with a drop in productivity when there is a sporting event on whilst my staff are working?

How do I deal with employees who support different teams?

Not everyone will support the same team or competitor. Not everyone is interested in sport. So, any decisions taken need to be fair to everyone.

For example, if you encourage employees to decorate the workplace then make sure it is representative of all participants. If you relax the rules to allow employees to book holiday with a shorter notice period, then make sure this applies to everyone and not just those who want holiday to watch the sporting event.

Also, bear in mind that sporting events can create tensions that can easily bubble over, so if managers overhear offensive remarks, or an employee behaves inappropriately, then they should deal with it in the normal way through disciplinary proceedings, where appropriate.

Do I need a specific major sporting event policy?

A specific policy on sporting events that sets out the company’s stance about acceptable behaviour, absence reporting, internet use, holiday booking and workplace conduct, can be a good way to make sure that employees are clear about expected behaviour and what could happen if the rules are not followed.

Reach out to our HR documentation team for a major sporting event policy so that your employees know what is expected of them. Also, remember that our HR Experts are here to support you long after the final whistle blows. 

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