Employers Fears Black Friday Will Damage Productivity

Many employers have spoken of their concern at the number of holiday requests they have received with employees looking to take the day off for the Black Friday sales.

The recent American tradition has become one of the largest shopping days in the UK with one in six of those living in the UK expected to buy an item or take advantage of the sales on Black Friday. Such is the popularity of the day; many employers have been forced to reject a number of requested holidays with some also fearing that access to the internet will drastically affect the productivity of workers and lead to employment action.

Concerns for Employers over Black Friday

According to a report by an employment consultancy firm, they have received more than 8,000 calls from concerned employers in the last month who worry that Black Friday could result in a number of absent employees. Legal experts have stated that many employers, who expected requests during the summer months and at Easter and Christmas have been caught somewhat unaware by the number of requests and fear that the access to the internet for many could result in a reduction of productivity.

Alan Price, of Peninsula, the firm that carried out the research on the number of calls regarding Black Friday said: “Black Friday has gone from an American tradition to a Western phenomenon, taking the UK by storm last year and set to increase in size this year.

"While this is positive news for the economy, what is not widely considered is how this excitement to grab a bargain will affect employers in terms of productivity due to employees surfing the net.”

Speaking of the number of calls regarding employment concerns and Black Friday he said: “The concern 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 is something that requires constant attention.

"With the internet being an integral tool in the working environment and with every employee having access to it, unauthorised conduct can spiral out of control and policing employees' internet usage can feel like an overwhelming task.”

Managing Employees and Employers on Black Friday

While Black Friday has left many employers concerned regarding staff productivity, there are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure that staff are well informed of their rights in the workplace and to avoid any employment action. Employers should ensure that their HR policies are up-to-date, covering all employee actions and behaviour with regards to Black Friday or any other major event. Staff should also be told of the sites that they can visit and use and the issues that could arise with absenteeism. It is important to remember that many employers can monitor internet usage and see the sites that staff have visited, however, staff should be informed in advance to ensure that they know the rules in place and what can occur from misconduct.

Discrimination in the Workplace: Contact Us

While not every holiday request can be approved, holidays can be one of the most controversial aspects of employment with many feeling they are treated unfairly regarding getting holidays approved or time off. If you believe you have been discriminated against or mistreated in the workplace, contact us today using our online contact form.


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