Is your business prepared for ‘London 2012 Olympics Fever’?
For most businesses major sporting events are usually a time of significant increase in the rate of absenteeism. Christopher Strutt of specialist business law firm, Strutt & Co. says that “Like any illness, prevention is better than cure and that planning now and adopting good working practices is the key to avoiding ‘London 2012 Olympics Fever’ and significant increases in staff absence during the Olympic Games.”
Whilst we all want Great Britain to do well and progress through the competition, many businesses were predicting a huge strain on business resources due to unauthorised staff absence.
Chris continues “Employers should prepare now to organise their approach to the Olympic Games and take steps to ensure that staff absenteeism is kept to a minimum. All employers should already have a procedure in place for reporting sickness absence as well as dealing with unacceptable levels of absence. For example, at a minimum, employers should have a policy of conducting return to work interviews on the first day back to work. Adopting this strategy alone can significantly reduce absenteeism but employers should also have a clear policy and procedure in place to identify and deal with unacceptable levels of unauthorised absence.”
Chris suggests that businesses should be proactive in efforts to reduce absenteeism during the Olympic Games and adopt a strategy that suits their business requirements. “Some employers are considering screening the Olympics at their premises or relaxing their internet use policy temporarily to allow on-line viewing or at least receive Olympic updates. Other employers may be able to adopt a flexible approach to employees working hours or to allow employees to take time off to watch the Olympics. This could be good for staff morale, however, employers should be clear how this will be considered as they could face a large volume of requests, which could impact on productivity and have the opposite effect on morale if requests are refused. At the very least businesses should remind employees of their rules about sick pay and the procedures that are in place for dealing with unauthorised absence. Unauthorised absence is very different to genuine sickness absence and employers would certainly be entitled to take disciplinary action against an employee if the employer found the reason for the absence was ‘London 2012 Olympics Fever’ and not genuine sickness.
Whatever approach a business chooses to take, planning now and letting employees know how ‘London 2012 Olympics Fever’ will be dealt with will reduce absenteeism and make a much more enjoyable and hopefully successful Olympic Games for us all. Come on Great Britain!”
Managing sickness absence is just one topic Strutt & Co. will be covering in future Employment Law seminars.
For more information and guidance on adopting a strategy to suit your business requirements, call Chris on 01768 480230, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit struttandco.com