​Rugby World Cup absenteeism? Time for employers to put a game plan in place

Why Kiwi employers need to put strategies in place to tackle the inevitable absenteeism and tardiness of their teams.

For those who didn’t know, the Rugby World Cup starts this weekend and employers need to put strategies in place to tackle the inevitable absenteeism and tardiness of their teams.

The early morning airing of games in New Zealand isn’t great from an employer’s perspective, however, irrespective of game times, business owners and employers will benefit from reminding staff about their commitments and what is expected of them during the tournament.

Step 1 is to start communicating

“Outline strategies that employees might want to adopt so that they don’t miss key games (flexible hours, annual leave, swapping shifts, days in lieu, leave without pay etc) and the consequences of missing work or not being in a fit state to work,” says Paul Kane, Partner, Grant Thornton New Zealand.

“The key is to be flexible yet fair. Not everyone is interested in the Rugby World Cup or keen enough to watch the games in the wee small hours.

“Everyone needs to be treated fairly, not just the rugby fans.”

Step 2 involves getting your digital policies in order

“The Rugby World Cup will produce an avalanche of online content - news, highlights and some very active social media feeds which means employees could lose a lot of time keeping up with the coverage,” Kane adds.

“Does your company have an internet and social media policy? Are employees aware of its existence and content? Does it need to be altered for the Rugby World Cup?”

Step 3: what is the company’s alcohol policy?

“Some bars will stay open round-the-clock, so you need to think about your company’s policy about drinking at work or arriving under the influence, especially if your staff are required to drive a vehicle early in the morning,” Kane adds.

The Rugby World Cup promises to be a captivating six weeks but for Kane, some time spent putting a game plan in place and communicating it with your staff will serve as a pre-emptive strike for potential problems ahead.

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