POSTED: September 11 2019
Absence and major sporting events

Absence and major sporting events

On the run up to the Rugby World Cup in Japan starting later this week, advo hr considers how to manage absences during this period and other major sporting events to avoid as little disruption to employers as possible.

The Rugby World Cup, hosted by Japan, starts on 20th September. Major sporting events such as this, are often a hot topic of conversation for employees keen to support their teams and employers eager to limit any disruption to business. It is important for employers to be mindful of upcoming events such as this, to ensure there is a balance between ensuring the business continues to function as normal and employees being able to follow along with such events.

The Company may see an increase of requests for annual leave during these events, in which the Company’s usual annual leave policy should be followed. It may, however, be a time where employers are a little more flexible as it would only be for a limited time. This does not mean that all annual leave requests should be granted, as there would still be a requirement for the usual work to take place during this event. A ‘first come first served’ approach is often used to ensure fairness and consistency.

Some may use their Company internet to follow these sporting events. Companies should have an IT usage policy which should clarify if employees are able to use Company devices and internet to watch sporting events and what is deemed as acceptable. If employees are seen to be distracted by social media, using their personal phones more frequently than is acceptable or using Company internet during work hours to watch sporting events, the Company would need to consider if the employee needs to be investigated under the disciplinary policy. Hopefully a clear message to all staff prior to the sporting event, including the potential for the disciplinary policy to be used, should ensure that employees are aware of both what is acceptable and the possible consequences if not adhered to.

Employees may phone in sick during these sporting events and there may be occasions where managers believe the absences are not genuine, especially if annual leave had been requested but denied for the same period of sickness. The usual Company absence management policy should be followed and applied to all staff regardless of these major sporting events.

Here at advo hr we have our own bespoke absence management portal to help track both annual leave and other types of absence including holiday. For existing advo hr clients, this is already part of the service available to you. If you would like a demo of the system and how it could benefit you please get in touch.

In the first instance email Carly Gregory on