Christmas is the season to be jolly, but the festive period can create a staff nightmare for employers.
Many US traditions have crossed the pond including the Black Friday sales frenzy which stampeded on to our high streets two years ago. Since then it is the highlight of all bargain hunters calendar.
This year’s ritual will happening on November 27 – swiftly followed by Cyber Monday a few days later.
But the American tradition is causing panic among employers’ who are experiencing a huge influx of holiday requests for the day off. The demand has left managers fearing they will be short staffed, and office productivity will be low with those in work scouring the internet instead.
To prevent any office chaos, one employment law specialist advises companies to get their HR and internet policies up-to-date.
Alan Price, Employment Law Director at Peninsula Business Services, said: “While this is positive news for the economy, what is not considered is how this excitement will affect employers in terms of productivity due to employees surfing the internet.
“Employers often plan for the expected demand in annual leave surrounding the main holiday times, but it would appear they are completely caught off guard with staff wanting the day off to hit the shops for bargains.
“The concerns employers are feeling is completely warranted, as it is impossible to accept every holiday request that comes their way particularly all for the same day, and managing employee’s internet usage requires constant attention.
“It is vital that employers ensure their HR policies are up-to-date, covering all employee actions and behaviour with regards to Black Friday or any other major event.”
An estimated one in six shoppers in the UK have planned to scour the high street for bargains on Black Friday.
Lizzie Horridge, Senior Account Manager at Candor Creative, added: “It is surprising to hear the huge impact Black Friday can have on firms, some of whom will be running on skeleton staff. I can imagine a lot of companies feel they are in a no-win situation on what to do, but if the appropriate HR policies are in place then they shouldn’t need to worry.”
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