Is football coming home? Your staff are planning for it!

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There is genuine talk amongst Government officials to introduce an extra Bank Holiday if England win Euro 2020 on Sunday night. Win or lose, it’s set to be a late night for TV watchers – especially if it goes to penalties.

Whether dancing the night away to the or crying into their replica kits, there will be some bad heads on Monday morning.

BrightHR has seen a 322% increase in annual leave requests for Monday 12th July received from 10pm on Wednesday night until 10am on Thursday morning compared to people requesting Monday off during the same period the week before.

Overall annual leave requests for next Monday are up 109.6% compared to Monday 5th July

So what can employers do to proactively avoid unplanned absence on Monday?

Here are a few tips:

  • Pull up the holiday planner to see how much more space there is for leave to be taken. Is there room left for more employees to take Monday off? If there is, tell staff about it. Maybe they aren’t asking because they think the answer will be no.
  • If not a full day, could you offer the morning off to anyone?
  • Check how busy you normally are on a Monday morning; is it predictable for you to be less busy than normal? High levels of annual leave across the country and potential reduced footfall may mean you’ll get less custom so you can be a bit more flexible with breaching your usual daily holiday cap.
  • Offer a flexi start on Monday morning; employees could come in later (set a deadline for the latest arrival) and then leave when their normal number of hours are done.
  • Free up more time off for those who want it on Monday by offering enhanced rate overtime for those who won’t be watching the football.
  • Have a casual clothes day
  • Provide a free hot drink and breakfast (in a COVID secure way)
  • Push back any Monday morning meetings to the afternoon, or Tuesday
  • Designate the first hour of work as ‘match analysis hour’ where employees still have to be in on time but you relax normal productivity rules and let them discuss the match.

Alan Price is CEO at Bright HR. He says: “The success of the England team at the Euro’s has provided a much-needed morale boost; exactly what the country has needed after being locked down for so long.

“I would encourage all companies to embrace the positivity, look ahead and encourage people to book annual leave in advance rather than calling in sick after the games. Being flexible when handling holiday requests and embracing the positive mood of the country will mean businesses are less likely to struggle with a sickness hangover the day after the match. We saw a 41% increase in sickness absence the day after the England-Germany match, and I expect that celebration will be nothing in comparison to what we can expect to see should England win the tournament with the entire country wanting to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime achievement!

“There will, of course, be genuine sickness absences the day after the big match so employers should never assume that someone is taking a sickie. If they have genuine cause to think the sickness absence is not genuine, they can investigate and potentially even take disciplinary action.

“Employees need to ask themselves, is it worth losing your job over a football match? If the answer is no, then put in a request for annual leave ahead of time or celebrate responsibly and go to work as expected. It’s also important to remember your company’s drug and alcohol policy and be sure to take public transport to work rather than driving, if you have consumed too much the night before”

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