Watching sports events while working - Payroll Belgium

Essential guidelines and best practices for watching sports events during the working hours

With Euro 2024 and the Olympics around the corner, many employees might want to catch every moment of their favorite sports events. But what are the legal and practical implications of watching sports during working hours? Here’s a detailed look at the key points.


Watching sports events during working hours?


Legally, employees are required to be actively working during their paid hours. Watching sports events during these hours is not permitted, as it detracts from job performance and productivity. Employers have the right to address this behavior and may issue warnings or other disciplinary actions if employees are found to be neglecting their duties. However, the approach can vary significantly between employers. Some may adopt a more flexible stance, recognizing the morale boost and team spirit that such events can bring.

For instance, certain employers might allow for collective viewing sessions during particularly significant matches. This can be arranged by setting up screens in common areas and permitting employees to take short breaks to catch important moments of the game. Such sessions must be clearly communicated and should not interfere with the overall productivity of the company.

Additionally, setting a positive example and promoting a culture of responsible behavior during these events can reinforce the company’s values and ensure that everyone enjoys the occasion without compromising safety or professionalism.


Alcohol consumption at work


While not outright illegal, consuming alcohol at work must be managed carefully to ensure it does not compromise workplace safety or productivity. Companies are required to have a clear drugs and alcohol policy in their working regulations in Belgium according to CLA N°100, detailing acceptable behavior and consequences for violations.

Some workplaces may adopt a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol, especially in environments where safety is a critical concern. Others may permit moderate consumption during special events, such as during collective viewing sessions of sports events. In these cases, it is crucial to ensure that alcohol consumption is kept within reasonable limits and does not affect the safety and performance of the employees.

To ensure these events are successful and safe, employers should establish clear guidelines regarding behavior, including alcohol consumption. Providing safe transportation options for employees after the event can help prevent any accidents or incidents. This can include organizing carpooling, providing taxis or ride-sharing services, or offering company transportation.


Flexible working hours


Whether employees can start later or finish earlier to watch a match or game depends largely on the company’s work schedule policies. Companies with flexible working hours (gliding schedules e.g.) may allow employees to adjust their schedules to accommodate major sports events, as long as the required work hours are completed.

Employers might implement a system where employees can take short breaks to watch key moments of the match, provided they make up the time later for example. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial in maintaining morale and productivity, as employees feel their interests are valued and accommodated.

For companies with fixed schedules, flexibility might be more challenging. However, discussions about vacations or making up lost hours at a later date can be a viable solution. Employers should encourage open communication, allowing employees to discuss their needs and find mutually agreeable solutions.


Dress code


The dress code policies regarding wearing sports attire at work can vary significantly depending on the company’s culture and industry. In environments where uniforms or safety clothing are mandatory, or where there is significant customer interaction, wearing sports gear might not be appropriate.

For companies with more relaxed dress codes, allowing employees to wear team colors or jerseys during major sports events can be a fun way to boost morale and show team spirit. However, it’s important to ensure that it does not interfere with professionalism, especially in roles that involve client interactions.

For employees working from home, dress code policies should still be respected, particularly during video calls.




Navigating the excitement of major sports events while maintaining workplace productivity and safety requires clear communication and mutual understanding between employers and employees. With the right policies (working regulations!) and flexibility, everyone can enjoy the events without compromising their professional responsibilities.



For more information on this topic or other payroll related matters, do not hesitate to reach out to Pro-Pay via the contact form.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Getting started as an employer guide
man holding the getting started as an employer guide in belgium by payrollbelgium

Read our guide to start learning employment law In Belgium.

Explore more categories
Please share our page

Related posts

Payroll news Belgium