As Neil Trotter took his £107.9 million Euromillions lottery win and started planning for a seriously grander life last week, players UK, even Europe-wide, wondered no doubt for the umpteenth time, when it would be them!

For Neil it was the ultimate, non-shared win, but, for many, “team play” with workmates is all part of the fun and most workplaces have syndicates on the go.

Most syndicates at work run outside any employer control or input, and that’s the way it should be. But employers can offer some light-of-touch advice on how they operate.

It’s certainly best if lottery schemes and syndicates do not form part of any staff handbook or have anything to do with contracts of employment, but if employees have written terms between them it might be helpful for you to look over them, just to flag up any issues that may arise.

Sometimes, syndicates want to change or limit membership and that is again up to them. As an employer you are under no legal obligation to get involved in the membership or eligibility for a syndicate which should be self-governing.   However, just keep eye on any deliberate or arbitrary exclusions, tantamount to workplace bullying.

Employers sometimes worry that they could be in breach of contract and be accused of being discriminatory by getting involved in or restricting access to a scheme. A global entry policy, which is in line with the desires of a syndicate group, can hardly be said to be discriminatory.

However, the best advice has to be to put some distance between an employer and a lottery scheme, leaving it to syndicate members to manage any restrictions themselves.

In most workplaces, syndicates are simply administered on an informal basis between groups of staff, without any involvement from their employer.

The National Lottery itself provides Syndicate Agreements and these are well worth recommending if employees want to start one.  Each member of the syndicate completes the Agreement to avoid any complications in the event of a win and there is a scheme manager and deputy manager identified. The Agreement clearly states what contribution each member is making and what their share of a win would be.

So, playing the lottery as a workplace team should be a positive fun bonding experience and employers should keep a watchful eye on any syndicate from a distance, but steer clear of having any formal involvement.

To discuss employment issues affecting your organisation, however big or small, contact David Walton on 0161 930 5117.

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