There is a lot of talk on the news about introducing new measures to reform the regulation of gambling and tougher checks for gamblers who are losing large amounts of money a day.
The rise of smartphones has made it easier for people to have a flutter, from anywhere, at any time of the day, not just when the bookies are open.
As many of us switched to remote working during the pandemic it provided an opportunity to access online gambling away from the watchful eye of the employer. These days, many companies offer hybrid working options and working from home provides more temptation to gamble during working hours, for those employees with gambling addictions. This can make it more difficult for the employer to support employees with their addiction.
This got me thinking about employers, up and down the country, and wondered if they could easily spot an employee who has a gambling problem by their behavior. And what are they doing, if anything, to support them?
When gambling starts interfering with an employee’s performance it then becomes a HR issue. Like all addictions, it can have a devastating effect on the person.
Some of the signs that an employer can look out for include the following:
- You notice they are spending more and more time gambling with increasing amounts of money.
- They have money troubles despite receiving a regular wage.
- They are taking more sick days or have unexplained absences.
- They are often distracted and late for commitments.
- They take longer than expected for unsupervised tasks or errands.
- They are not performing their duties well at work.
As an employer, we all have a duty of care to look after all our employees and become more involved in supporting their health, safety, and wellbeing.
Here are three ways where you can support and protect your staff:
- Identify the risks – Assess how employees can use computers, phones, and other digital devices for gambling at work.
- Take a proactive approach – Distribute responsible gambling information to all employees and provide access to help and support through an Employee Assistance Programme.
- Introduce a company gambling policy to protect your employees and the organisation. It could:
- Acknowledge that gambling in the workplace can interfere with productivity and employee morale.
- Specify the types of gambling activity that is banned and any that are allowed to take place.
- Restrict computer use to business work only and block employees from accessing betting sites.
- Outline the company’s disciplinary procedure for employees caught gambling at work.
- Explain your business reasons for banning gambling to protect the organization against any legal action.
Communication is key!
It is still quite unclear how these gambling checks are going to be carried out. I guess time will tell.
If you would like to speak to a member of the team at HR2day about implementing gambling, or any other HR policies, in your workplace then call us on 01325 288299 (opt. 2) or email us at [email protected].
Nicky Jolley, MD HR2day