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What if the World Cup lives on in the workplace?

18 November 2022 Nele Mertens Employers

The kick-off of the World Cup is also the kick-off of ‘football mania’. What if your employees can’t kick the football spirit during working hours?

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Football colours at the workplace

Some supporters want to come to the workplace in supporters’ colours, but is that allowed? As an employer, it is best to establish the necessary clothingrules, ideally in the employment regulations. You can – if the agreements are not respected – attach possible sanctions to that.

As an employer, you should also always bear legislation on well-being at work in mind, where protective clothing may be required in certain circumstances.

Taking holidays to watch football

If your employees want to watch the games that are on during working hours, they can request(unpaid) leavein advance. How much in advance that leave must be requested might be stated in the employment regulations. As an employer, you can then give your consent (or not).

Football reverberates after at work

Your employees must do their work carefully, honestly and accurately. Suppose your employee is too tired to do his/her job properly, or is even still under the influence of alcohol; you can speak to your employee about this and give him/her a warning. You can also ask him/her to take time off.

Are you allowed to monitor your employees?

What if, as an employer, you wish to check whether your employee(s) are watching a football match during working hours? In that case, you have to take into account your employees’ right to privacy that applies in the workplace and beyond and CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) 81.

If you meet the conditions from the privacy legislation, you can check your employees. You will have to argue this properly, though. The business interest should outweigh the invasion of privacy. What can and may be done will varyfrom case to case and sector to sector.

CBA 81 deals with the control of internet and email use at work. This CBA that employee privacy is respected when the employer collects and/or monitors data from electronic network communications. The CBA incorporates the three fundamental principles of privacy law (finality, proportionality and transparency).

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Written by Nele Mertens

Juridisch adviseur

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