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Preparing for your staff for a Major Event

This week sees the US Open move into Shinnecock Hills (and on to our TV screens), so we look at some of the issues that can face golf clubs when preparing for major club tournaments and events.

Thursday 14th of June 2018 09:30

Not many clubs will have the financial resources of the USGA, so cost is likely to be a factor for most club managers and committees. This will include getting the most out of existing employees by using any contractual flexibility before calling upon extra temporary labour.

The contract of employment with existing employees will be the starting point, so ensure that you have the following clauses in the contract:

1. With salaried employees, ensure that you have a clause to say that they may be required to work extra hours beyond the basic core contracted hours for the proper performance of the job

2. For other employees, ensure that they can be required to work overtime if the needs of the business dictate. Such clauses will normally have a provision for enhanced overtime rates to be paid, which is normally a sufficient incentive

3. For all employees, ensure that the clause relating to their duties allows you to require them to carry out other duties, at least on a temporary basis, as the needs of the business dictate. The last thing that the club wants is for an employee to turn around in the run-up to a tournament and announce that it is not their job to assist a colleague!

4. Ensure that you police holiday requests properly in the run-up to the tournament, refusing any requests for holidays during the busy period. It is quite permissible to do so under the working time regulations and some clubs will have a specific clause within the contract to bar the taking of holidays during peak periods

Beyond the above, a club should also take care with health and safety, to ensure that there are no lax practices when employees are rushing around with preparations and with the running of the tournament. This will be something that you would seek to enforce through management and timely reminders in advance and during the tournament

The working time regulations may also come into play during the peak period. Employees should not work more than an average of 48 hours per week over an average 17-week period. It is quite possible that employees would work more than 48 hours during, say, a two week period in the run-up to and during a tournament, but when taken as an average over 17 weeks, it may be that there is no issue. However, care should be taken if your existing employees are already close to the 48-hour week and the club should look at having employees sign an "opt out" agreement to say that they are not bound by the requirements of the 48-hour week. A standard opt out clause may already exist in the contract

Rest breaks are also extremely important from a health and safety and working time regulations perspective. If your employee works for more than six hours a day, they are entitled to a rest break of a minimum of 20 minutes; further, they are entitled to daily rest period of 11 hours in any 24-hour period; and finally, the weekly rest period is either one rest period of at least 48 hours every 14 days or two periods of 24 hours every 14 days. During a tournament, it might not always be possible to have such rest available, although it is strongly recommended that this is scheduled in to the rota. If it is not possible, there are special provisions allowed by the law where there is a surge in activity such as a tournament, but the club should be certain that they would fit within the legal exceptions by taking advice from NGCAA. In the circumstances, providing that the necessary legal requirements have been hit, the club would still be required to provide "compensatory rest" at a time after the tournament.

In addition to running the tournament by relying upon existing employees, the club may require more people, which it may source in different ways. Certain aspects could be undertaken by subcontractors, such as outside catering. The club may wish to engage agency workers, in which case it should take care with the terms and conditions between the club and the agency. Finally, the club may engage the services of workers or employees direct by the use of short fixed-term contracts or by the use of its existing "casual" or zero hours employees.

However a club seeks to flex up its labour for a tournament, if there is any doubt as to the legalities of operation, please contact NGCAA for advice.




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