The 2016 UEFA European Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2016 kicks off in France on Friday 10th June.  There will be total of 51 matches held during the tournament with England’s first match against Russia taking place on 11th June and the final being held on 10th July.

As with any major sporting event, employees may want time off to watch the matches and even where some of the matches take place in the evening, as is the case this year, problems may arise for employers that operate outside of normal office hours.

This guide reviews a number of options to ensure that the operation of your business is protected and the morale of your team is enhanced during Euro 2016.

1.  Dealing with multiple leave requests

Where a key match takes place during working hours, you are likely to receive multiple requests for holiday at the same time.  You should consider a fair method of managing this and communicate it in advance, such as on a first come, first served basis.

2.  Screening matches at work

This can be a great way to build engagement with your team and avoid unauthorised absences arising.  Consideration needs to be given to staffing requirements and rules, such as whether alcohol consumption is permitted.

3.  Be fun and creative

Organising a sweep stake or having dress down days for key matches is a great way to build team work and a sense of healthy rivalry.

4.  Flexible working arrangements

Offering your staff the opportunity to leave work earlier, start work later or extend their lunch breaks for the duration of the event will provide your staff with the flexibility to see key matches.  Provided that time is made up and operational requirements are covered, this option will again build morale and prevent unauthorised absences.

5.  Handling cases of suspected misconduct

Unauthorised absence, persistent lateness and excessive alcohol consumption should be properly investigated and dealt with in accordance with your disciplinary policy.

6.  Treating all your staff the same

Care should be taken to ensure that those staff who are not interested in the matches or who support a different national team are not treated less favourably.  For example, if staff were permitted time off to watch, for example, the England verses Wales match at 2pm on 16th June, the same consideration should be given to other nationalities who may wish to support their national team.

7.  Introducing a sporting events policy

This will ensure that the operation of your business is protected during events such as Euro 2016 by communicating expectations in advance.

Major sporting events such as Euro 2016 and the forthcoming Olympics in Rio can do wonders for the feel good factor, so harnessing this positivity in the workplace often makes good business sense.

For more information, contact Ramshaw HR @


By Bruce Ramshaw

Principal Consultant



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