Tuesday 15 June 2010

The World Cup 2010 and the Work Life Balance

As most of us know, the Fifa World Cup has kicked off kicks - but what if you are working when a game is on? Will your employer let you watch? ENGLAND v SLOVENIA (Wed 3pm)

ACAS have produced some guidelines, here they are in full. Many thanks to Flemons in Priory Road for letting me know.

World Cup Advice - teamwork is the goal!

'Over the moon', 'a game of two halves'. There are many football clichés - but when it comes to balancing work and sporting interests one of them holds more than a grain of truth: 'it's a team game'.

Big sporting occasions, like the World Cup, can divide as well as unite workplaces. Employees may assume that rules can be bent to accommodate viewing the televised matches. Employers may be worried about less productive employees and over exuberant celebrations.

Football reflects the multicultural society we live in and our varied communities will be following different teams during the World Cup this summer.

Make sure you strike a balance between the needs of those who want to watch football - whatever team they are supporting - and those that don't.

As the World Cup kicks off in South Africa on 11 June 2010, the Acas message to workplaces up and down the country is simple: use teamwork to get the best out of each other and, where possible, find compromises that will keep everyone happy.

Plan ahead! With matches starting at 12.30, 15.00 and 19.30 (UK time) you should plan how you will respond to pressure from employees eager to support their favourite team.

Acas advice is that you should try to be:

Flexible, where possible - for example, by altering start and finish times during the working day or allowing longer lunch break. Remember to balance the needs of your whole workforce including those who don't have an interest in the World Cup.
Clear about what you expect from employees - in terms of attendance and performance during the World Cup. Managing employees expectations of what might be possible is key to keeping them onside
Communicative - start talking to each other now about the World Cup and how you hope to manage leave and working hours
Open and honest - if you cannot accommodate any changes to your work practices then say so. Also, you may need to remind employees that any special arrangements for watching matches are only temporary
Fair - you need to be seen to be fair about the way you respond to requests for time off and avoid favouritism - don't forget to ensure those people who aren't interested in football aren't in some way treated differently as a consequence, such as those with caring responsibilities, for example.

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