Black Friday 2021 is already in full swing for many online retailers, with range of deals from tech to toys this year. But what are the HR issues affecting UK businesses on Black Friday? We review 3 key HR challenges facing employers and provide practical guidance to help you manage your staff.
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1. Dealing with Workplace Absence on Black Friday 2021
Preparation is key when managing staff. Are you concerned that some of your employees will call in sick to spend time shopping online at home? Make sure you have up to date staff contracts and handbooks in place, and remind employees about the workplace sickness absence policies and procedures in place. If an employee doesn’t show up for work you can take the following steps to manage the situation:
- Call the staff member to find out the reason for their absence.
- Find out why they didn’t call to notify you of their absence and when they expect to be back to work.
- If they provide an acceptable reason for their absence, remind them of the correct absence reporting procedure.
- If they provide an unacceptable reason for taking the day off then explain that their absence is unauthorised and they must report to work. Depending on the circumstances you may be able to take disciplinary action for the unauthorised absence. Ensure, that you keep notes of when you have tried to get in contact with them and of any conversations with them.
2. Workplace Internet Shopping Policies
How can you be sure your employees are working hard and not spending too much time browsing the internet for the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals?
- If staff members are spending excessive amounts of time on the internet beyond break times, then its important to remind them about your company policies surrounding internet use and social media at work.
- If the problem continues then the matter may need to be dealt with through the disciplinary process.
- It may be that you decide to relax the rules a little to allow employees time to do some online Black Friday shopping, but its key to communicate clearly what is expected and the consequences if employees don’t keep to company guidelines.
3. Stressed-Out Staff?
Employers in a variety of sectors from retail to wholesalers and manufacturers should consider how Black Friday will affect their employees, and take steps to reduce workplace stress.
- Prevention is better than cure, so take time to look at potential issues which may be a factor when staff have to cope with an increase in customers.
- If you have recruited extra staff for a Black Friday event, have they been inducted and received the correct Health and Safety Training?
- Are your employees displaying signs of stress or workplace anxiety? Encourage them to talk about any concerns with their Line Manager, so they know there is support available if needed.
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