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Allowing Employees to Watch the UEFA European Football Championship Games

It’s time for the Euros again! With employees working from home, on a hybrid basis, or in the office, how can you balance work expectations while allowing them to watch the games during work hours? Here’s why allowing employees to enjoy these games can be one of the best HR practices:

  • Enhances Employee Engagement and Morale: Tournaments like Euro 2024 unite millions of fans worldwide. Allowing employees to watch these matches can significantly enhance their engagement and morale. When employees feel that their interests and passions are recognised and accommodated by their employers, it creates a sense of belonging and loyalty. This will help employees feel more motivated and enthusiastic in their work, as they feel valued beyond their professional contributions.
  • Promotes a Work-Life Balance: Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial. By allowing employees to watch the games, companies acknowledge the importance of personal interests and leisure activities. It shows that the organisation respects and supports employees’ lives outside of work. Employees who feel their workplace is flexible and considerate are more likely to be productive and committed to their roles which can in turn reduce burnout and increase overall job satisfaction.
  • Creates a Sense of Team Spirit and Camaraderie: Football is a sport that naturally brings people together. Allowing employees to watch games together can foster a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. It can also help break down hierarchical barriers, enabling employees from different levels of the organisation to interact and bond over a common interest.

Here are some ways you can put the above into practice:

  • Designated Viewing Areas: Set up designated areas within the office where employees can watch the games. This ensures that those who are not interested are not disturbed.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Offer flexible work hours during the championship period, allowing employees to adjust their schedules to catch important matches.
  • Team Viewing Events: Organise team events where employees can watch the games together, perhaps even with snacks and refreshments to enhance the experience. Communicate clear expectations and policies regarding alcohol consumption during work hours to maintain a safe and productive environment.
  • Remote Viewing Options: For remote or hybrid workers, provide access to streaming services or organise virtual viewing parties to maintain inclusivity.
  • Inclusive Break Policies: Ensure that similar break allowances are made for employees to engage in activities that interest them, promoting fairness and avoiding any potential discrimination.

Remember that not everyone likes football! It is therefore important to ensure that such practices do not inadvertently discriminate against employees who are not football fans or who do not support a particular team, such as England. To avoid this, companies should extend similar privileges to employees with different interests. For instance, those who prefer other activities should be allowed to take breaks to enjoy their passions, whether it’s watching another sport, participating in a hobby, or attending cultural events. This approach ensures that all employees feel valued and included, regardless of their interests.

Rest Breaks: Employees are entitled to regular rest breaks during their working hours (20 minutes for every 6 hours worked). Preventing these breaks, even with early closure, could lead to legal issues.

Here are a couple of alternatives:

  • Combine Breaks with Early Closure: Allow employees to take a rest break just before the early closure to ensure compliance.
  • Adjust Work Schedule: Consider adjusting shifts for that day so employees’ breaks fit within their working hours while still accommodating the early closure.

Allowing employees to watch the Euro 2024 games is more than just a perk; it has substantial benefits. From boosting morale and productivity to fostering team spirit and enhancing corporate culture, this initiative demonstrates a company’s commitment to its employees’ wellbeing and satisfaction. By ensuring inclusivity and fairness, companies can create a more engaging and dynamic workplace where all employees feel valued and supported.

As for ensuring that the work still gets done – a good employer who makes an effort to support their team members’ interests and passions should never have to worry about that. People will usually work hard for an employer that cares about them.

Remind employees to conduct themselves responsibly outside of work to avoid reputational damage and potential disciplinary action.

Disclaimer

Please note this blog is for reference purposes only and is only accurate at which the date it was published. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any actions. Please contact us if you have any questions on enquiries@thrivelaw.co.uk.

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