The opening ceremony of the Paralympics took place on Wednesday night.
So what are the potential issues of the Paralympics for Employers? The Paralympics has many of the same issues for Employers that the Olympics had. Employees may be intent on:
- Being a spectator at the Games.
- Watching the action on television or via internet coverage.
Time off for spectating or volunteering may give rise to issues with holiday bookings and staff coverage within businesses. The company annual leave policy should be followed. Employers may choose to adopt a “first come, first served” policy to manage attendance. It is important that employers communicate to employees the consequences of misconduct (including unauthorised absenteeism) during the Games. Employers might also consider providing unpaid leave for staff if this does not interfere with business operations.
Allowing staff flexibility over starting and finishing work earlier or later, providing core business hours are covered, is one option that employers might consider.
Allowing staff to take time off to watch games providing they make the time up on another day is another possible solution.
Shift swaps are another approach to providing staff flexibility to watch games while ensuring that business is not compromised.
Furthermore, if employers have the room then they may consider screening key events on their premises. It is important for employers to set out clearly what their policy is regarding screening and watching events and then be consistent in how this is managed.
Another key issue for employers will be travel disruption. The Paralympics will still attract large crowds and travelling to and from London will take longer. Employees who work in London should allow more time to travel to work. Employers and Employees should look at arranging an alternative route or travel method to get in and get home. Employers may consider allowing staff to work from home, or alter their hours for the duration of the Paralympic games. Employers should also ensure that everyone knows who to inform or what to do if they cannot get to work or they are delayed and that they have all the current contact details of their staff in case there are any issues.
The key to avoiding misunderstandings and conflict is to ensure you have a clear policy in advance, that this is explained to all your staff and that everyone is treated fairly and in a consistent manner.
If you need any advice or assistance in dealing with issues that arise then please contact us on 01483 303636 for further information.