With England ending 55 years of heartache and finally making a major tournament final, many employers are allowing employees to have some or all of Monday off – and who can blame them. It’s not every day England reach a final! It could be seen as a move by employers to limit the amount of employees calling in sick on Monday, which could result in unplanned absences making it harder for employers to cover and/or leading to contentious formal processes where the employer disputes the legitimacy of the “sickness” absence – which we all know is tricky to establish.
However, it isn’t altogether a bad idea, is it? Not only could you give it as an extra day out of the goodness of your heart, but instead you may decide to ask employees to use holiday to cover this and enforce that holiday. This is allowed provided you give twice the amount of notice as the amount of holiday you want the employee to take. So, if you are giving them the morning off you need to give them 1 days’ notice. If you are giving them the full day off, then 2 days’ notice is required.
Whichever option you are considering, you should confirm in writing to employees and be clear on it, meaning both employer and employee know exactly where they ‘stand’. This is also good for general wellbeing, staff morale and employee relations, especially following the challenging past year for everyone. To further improve morale and boost employee relations, employers may permit temporary changes to working patterns to allow employees to watch games. For example, if you have staff working on Sunday.
It will prove to be a tricky balancing act for employers as they look to support employees through the excitement of the Euro 2020 final, but also manage business operations to ensure the business can still function effectively.
As a final note – it’s coming home!