With the UEFA European Championship due to kick off shortly (the first match, France v Romania, is on Friday, 10 June at 20:00 UK time and the final is scheduled for Sunday, 10 July), employers who have not already done so should ensure they have policies in place to deal with any issues that could arise and that employees fully understand them. Whilst you are under no obligation to make adjustments to cater for employees who wish to watch the matches, if you are able to offer some degree of flexibility during such events, it is an opportunity to improve employee motivation and morale, but be sure to take a fair and consistent approach.
If you have not yet made preparations to manage any European Championship-related issues, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service has published useful guidance for employers. This identifies the main issues that are likely to arise as:
- requests for annual leave;
- sickness absence; and
- Internet and social media use during working hours.
If you are considering adopting flexible working arrangements, it is important that these do not discriminate against staff who support teams other than England. Wales and Northern Ireland have also both reached this stage of the competition, and many workers from abroad will be supporting their own national teams. Nor should any arrangements made have an adverse effect on workers who have no interest in football.
A full list of the fixtures can be found on the BBC's website.