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Euro 2016 Workplace Policy: Avoid showing staff the red card during a summer of sport

Published 12 June 2016

With a bumper summer of sport on the way a new study has revealed four in ten men are prepared to take a sickie to make sure they do not miss out on the action (1,2). The research by Grosvenor Casinos found that half of those with access to a computer also plan to watch at their desk for at least an hour. The football European Championships kick off this week (3), and that will be followed by Wimbledon (4) and the Rio Olympics (5).

Acas have produced some guidelines urging employers and employees to be flexible in order to avoid any workplace problems (6).

Employers are being advised to have arrangements in place to deal with requests for time off, watching events online during the working day, or watching TV.

During the Euro Championships the much anticipated match between England and Wales will be played during the daytime, and matches will kick off between 2pm and 8pm

With the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland also taking part in the tournament there is bound to be a lot of interest.

The main issues which will affect both employee and employers will be around:

  • requests for annual leave 
  • sickness absence 
  • internet and social media use during working hours.

The annual leave policy will provide guidance to employees in relation to booking time off, and all request should be considered fairly.

An employee who takes an unauthorised absence can be dealt with using the sickness policy, whether it’s to watch the sport of for any other reason.

Employers should have a clear policy that covers web use in the workplace and this should help to address any concerns in regards to an employee who wants to watch the action at their desk.

Acas is advising employers to take an adaptable approach and put some simple workplace agreements in place before kick-off to help ensure their businesses remain productive whilst keeping staff happy too.


  1. Four in ten men will skip work this summer to watch sports [Internet]. [cited 2016 Jun 23]. Available from:
  2. Hancock E. Britons plan to skive work this summer to watch live sport [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2016 Jun 23]. Available from:
  3. UEFA Euro 2016 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [Internet]. [cited 2016 Jun 23]. Available from:
  4. Schedule - The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 - Official Site by IBM [Internet]. [cited 2016 Jun 23]. Available from:
  5. Rio 2016 Olympics - Olympic Tickets, Sports & Schedule [Internet]. [cited 2016 Jun 23]. Available from:
  6. European cup 2016 advice and guidance for the workplace [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2016 Jun 23]. Available from:

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