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02/03 June 2010
talks about the World Cup
WITH the World
Cup just over a week away, the Forum of Private Business is advising
its members to plan ahead for the likelihood that some employees
will take more of an interest in their team’s fortunes than their
duties and want to watch games during work hours.
This year's tournament in South Africa has made life somewhat easier
for some employers operating ‘nine to five’, Monday to
Friday hours because kick-off times for England’s group matches are
at weekends or in the evening during the week.
However, international football championships and other big sporting
events often lead to staff being more distracted than normal and a
raft of requests to view matches live.
The Forum’s advice includes the following tips:-
Do nothing... If employees choose to be absent on that day without
taking a holiday they leave themselves open to some form of
disciplinary warning for unauthorised absence.
Screen the matches at work... An employer could install a television
or projector screen at work so that employees can watch the game and
use the occasion as a team-building event – then no one will have to
take days off. Alternatively, they can listen to it on the radio.
However, you should be aware with either of these options that the
correct TV licence or licence from the Performing Rights Society
will be required.
Allow flexible working... Another option is to let employees leave
early to watch the game, but require them to make up the lost
working hours during the week.
Use annual leave... A simple solution is to invite staff to book
annual leave if they wish to watch a match.
Make watching the games a perk... The two hours off work that the
match will typically take to watch can be used as an incentive based
upon individual or group performance.
Avoid discriminating... Employers should be aware that, to avoid
discriminating against staff members who are not supporting England,
or uninterested in football, employers should offer the same
concessions to all employees.
“Sporting events like the World Cup can present major headaches for
small firms whose employees are understandably excited and want to
watch games during work hours. Work is work and it is important to
know when to draw the line on issues such as unauthorised
absenteeism and declining productivity, but the sensible approach
for both employers and their staff is to be flexible. Watching games
together in work can help tem members to bond, as long as the lost
hours are made up later, and firms could consider granting staff
time off if cover is available.“ said the Forum’s Head of
Policy Matt Goodman.
To help its members with their HR issues, the Forum provides a 24
hour legal helpline, legal expenses insurance and comprehensive
business insurance packages. In addition, small businesses can
benefit from the Forum’s annually-updated employment guide
containing practical step-by-step guidance and templates covering
every area of employment.
Vitalise Sandpipers in Southport recognises outstanding contribution
disability charity Vitalise’s Sandpipers Centre in Southport is
celebrating the achievements of its volunteers during National
Outstanding volunteers from the past year at the centre will receive
certificates of recognition from grateful staff as part of the
annual Vitalise Volunteer Awards this week. Sandpipers is one of
Vitalise’s five UK centres to celebrate its volunteers during
National Volunteers Week.
Among the 25 volunteers currently donating their time and enthusiasm
at Sandpipers this week are husband and wife team Kath and Alf
Bamping of Bolton, who have been volunteering together at Sandpipers
for the past six years. Both are set to receive certificates of
recognition. Kath, 53, explained:- “The atmosphere is
infectious. It’s a chance to try new and exciting things and meet
new people from all over the world. But the icing on the cake is in
giving my time for such a great cause and helping others to achieve
all the goals. You give, but you get so much back in return. You
come away feeling tired, saddened at parting company, but already
planning when you can come again.”
Among the other volunteers currently at Sandpipers is veteran Brenda
Dugdale, of Chester, who is still actively volunteering at the age
Vitalise makes over 5,500 volunteer placements each year. The
majority of volunteers spend a week at one of Vitalise’s residential
Centres around the UK, where they provide companionship and support
to the disabled guests and carers. Others accompany visually
impaired people on city breaks and activity holidays in the UK and
abroad, or help in Vitalise Day Centres, offices and shops.
Vitalise Sandpipers Centre Manager Darren Holloran said:-
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of Vitalise. It’s safe to say that
without them we simply wouldn’t be able to provide such a
stimulating experience for our guests. That’s why we want to
recognise our volunteers’ commitment here at Sandpipers during
National Volunteers Week. We want them to know just how much we
value their incredible contribution. Vitalise runs one of the
largest and most diverse volunteer programmes in the UK. Our
volunteers are of all ages and from all walks of life, from retired
people looking to make good use of their free time, to young people
looking to gain valuable skills and experience. We regularly welcome
long-term overseas volunteers from the four corners of the world.”
Vitalise is a national charity providing essential services for
disabled people, visually impaired people, and carers. As well as
Sandpipers, the charity runs four other accessible Centres in the
UK, offering short breaks for disabled people and carers, with a
programme of activities and excursions throughout the year. Vitalise
also runs day services and organises holidays for visually impaired
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