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Ensure business productivity stays high during summer of sport

An employment law expert is offering advice for businesses looking to prevent a drop in productivity during a summer of major sporting events.

The 2016 Olympics and European Football Championships are just two of the events coming up, and many employees will be looking to take some time off work to catch highlights.

Some staff may even plan to ‘pull a sickie’ with figures from the 2014 World Cup showing that one in four men aged between 25-34 expecting to call in sick to watch a tournament.

Now Louise Myers, Employment solicitor at law firm Napthens, has offered advice for employers looking to minimise the disruption that such absences could cause, including having a first-come, first-served approach to booking time off.

She said: “It is important for staff to know the boundaries of what is acceptable to the employer. It should be clear that sickness absence policies remain in force during such events, policies relating to alcohol or intoxication should be shared and clear internet and social media usage guidelines available.

“It is best for both employees and employers to remain flexible and realistic when it comes to taking leave during these events, and consider what other options might be available to employees unable to take the leave they want.

“For instance, many businesses relax their policies to allow some personal internet use, and arrange for key events to be shown on television screens within a workplace.

“Employers should already have policies in place to cover the above matters but need to consider now, in advance, how they are going to operate these policies during major sporting events.”


Employment and HR - Associate Solicitor - Louise Smith