Tour De France

By Nancy Prest
10th June 2014

With the Grand Depart now upon us there has been much discussion about the benefits it will actually have on the economy of Yorkshire (and Harrogate). Apart from the kudos of this prestigious race coming through our town, and the revenue from tourism, there are some sides to it which are creating employment issues.

Some companies are having to close their doors on what would normally be their busiest days as road closures mean that employees and customers are unable to get to (or park near) to their work. This creates a headache for employers as to whether they have suitable clauses in their contracts and handbooks to allow for closures unpaid? Or are they having to pay on a day where no revenue is generated. If allowing employees to take annual leave or paid leave on these days does this have an impact on future leave requests (will they have enough to cover other closures i.e. Christmas)? Or even on commissions?

The other side to this coin is for those who are wanting to take time off to experience this event coming through our area, and are now unable to because they work in an industry that will thrive (such as hoteliers and restaurants). This has potential to create a headache as employees may just refuse to work or may ‘call in sick’ and then actually be seen in the crowd watching. Do companies have the right policies and resources to deal with the inevitable absence and performance management or disciplinary?

The Grand Depart will definitely be an occasion to remember and hopefully for all the right reasons it will leave a legacy in Yorkshire, hopefully a legacy of good for people and not just the headaches.

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