Vauxhall staff stopped from watching Euro 2012 due to health and safety

Vauxhall has had to balance on a tightrope between employee motivation and health and safety after some staff complained that they could not watch the Euro 2012 football, despite the car manufacturer sponsoring the English team.

Production line workers feature alongside England stars, such as Steven Gerrard and Joe Hart, in a television advert produced by Vauxhall for the Euro 2012 championships. But, unlike the advert, there was no pause in production for the England versus France match on 11 June.

Vauxhall said that health and safety regulations would not permit matches to be shown on screens as this would distract employees who work on production lines.

However, when the car manufacturer polled employees at its Luton and Ellesmere Port plants, it found that workers did not want to change their current working pattern to accommodate matches.

The Ellesmere Port plant does not have a Friday evening shift anyway, so employees will be able to catch tonight’s big match against Sweden.

A statement from Vauxhall said: “Vauxhall’s first priority is employees’ safety when working on the production line, as well as building Vauxhall vehicles that meet our customers’ expectations of high quality and delivery standards.

“We are in constant consultation with our employees and the unions, and special requests are accommodated if possible without compromising our manufacturing processes and priorities.

“With respect to Vauxhall manufacturing employees watching EuroCup matches tonight and next week, polls have been run with employees at both the Luton and Elllesmere Port plants, offering to delay the evening shift to accommodate matches and catching up on lost working time later on.

“Employees at both plants have expressed their preference for keeping the current working pattern.”

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If Vauxhall plays its cards right and effectively incorporates football into its employee motivation strategy everyone will be winners. †

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