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How to manage last-minute absences and lateness during the UEFA Euros final 2024

Learn how to protect your business from unplanned absences, lateness, and disruption during this year’s Euros 2024 final

First published on Tuesday, Jun 11, 2024

Last updated on Thursday, Jul 11, 2024

5 min read

England have made the finals of the UEFA Euros 2024! Southgate’s squad is due to face off with Spain on Sunday the 14th of July at 8 pm UK time. And with the match being played on a Sunday, the ball isn’t the only thing that’s likely to spike…

Employee lateness, sickness, and unexpected absences are all expected to rise. In fact, according to BrightHR data, the day after the last Euros final in 2021 between England and Italy saw a massive 232% spike in sickness and a 209% rise in staff lateness.

And with England playing on Sunday, these stats are likely to be even higher…

So, as the opening whistle blows, how can employers keep on the right side of the pitch? Read on for five top HR tips for creating a winning absence strategy…

Plan ahead for unexpected absences

We know you don’t have a crystal ball, but you can predict major sporting events like the Euros 2024 will bring a surge in unexpected absences—leaving your key players on the bench.

So how do you plan ahead?

Well, as a business owner, all you need to do is set out a clear policy outlining expectations ahead of the competition. Make use of rota scheduling software to fill vacant shifts instantly and minimise any disruption to your operation.

Once the tournament begins, keep your eyes on the ball, noting who’s calling in sick, and when. Tracking team attendance on key match days and the day after big matches is key to keeping things pitch-perfect!

But be careful not to jump to any conclusions though, as disciplinary action against a genuine case of sickness might land you in the sin bin.

If only there was a way to view staff absence at a glance… Well, luckily there is! Find out how BrightHR’s attendance and absence management software can help you stay on the ball.

"Monday is set to be disruptive for businesses as England faces Spain in the historic Euros final on Sunday. Employers should prepare for creative reasons for absence and an influx of sick calls, leave requests, and lateness as fans recover from celebrations." — Alan Price,CEO, BrightHR and Group Chief Operating Officer

Keep an eye on red card behaviour

Emotions during the Euros can run high, and passion for the beautiful game may taint employee behaviour both in and out of the workplace.

This was especially evident during the Euros 2020 final when members of the England squad were subject to racist abuse and discrimination after penalties were missed.

Abuse and discrimination should never be tolerated. Employers should be mindful of these issues and remind their staff that any abusive behaviour—whether online or off—will be dealt with as part of an internal disciplinary process.

For more information, ask Bright BrAInbox: Can I use social media posts as part of disciplinary evidence?

Sub out lateness

With the match starting at 8 pm and going on till 11 pm at the latest, your employees have a much higher chance of snoozing alarm clocks and turning up late to their shift.

This is especially true if celebrations or, dare we say it, commiserations run well into the night…

Having an effective system for tracking team hours can help you spot any incidents of lateness and take appropriate action.

The right employee timekeeping app can also help you offer some flexibility to your team if you allow for later starting times or early finishes for the match. This is also the kind of trust and flexibility that might lead to less unexpected tardiness amongst your team.

Set rules for when post-match celebrations get a little too “spirited”

While we’ve covered the rise in ‘mysterious’ illnesses the day after the night before, there’s a chance some team members might kick off celebrations early with a cheeky tipple during office hours.

If you have concerns about the impact of Euros pre-drinks on your workplace, remind your staff to review their contracts for the company’s policy on alcohol consumption.

If you need more information on what should be included in your alcohol policy, ask Bright BrAInbox: What should I include in an alcohol policy?

Make sure you have a fair holiday request process

Employers would be wise to fine-tune their annual leave policies and prep their rotas ahead of more holiday requests for the Monday following the England final.

Make sure you fairly distribute duties, and you have backup plans in place to prevent any department from feeling overburdened with work.

Want to spend less time worrying about holidays altogether? BrightHR’s staff holiday planner might be exactly what you’re looking for!

Keep your business on the winning side for the Euros and beyond!

Overall sporting events can be a great way to foster a positive work environment and boost morale in your workplace. But employers still need to be prepared for foul play throughout any big sporting event like the Euros.

Need support managing the match day absences?

From last-minute absences to employee time-keeping and annual leave management, create the perfect team game plan with BrightHR’s suite of award-winning team planning tools.

To learn more about our range of HR software and people management tools, request a demo today.

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