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The World Cup Hangover


What is the news?

More than five million England fans were expected to have “pulled a sickie” yesterday after the team beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties on Tuesday evening. England’s win takes them to the quarterfinals for the first time in 12 years. It’s no wonder therefore that fans were out in their forces to celebrate.

What does the news mean?

A study commissioned by Centropy PR found that 16% of the 2,000 participants were considering calling into work as sick if England won, 8% said they ‘possibly’ would and 7% said they were definitely going to do so. This unexpected absence is difficult for any employer and can have a knock-on effect on productivity in the workplace.

What do we think of the news?

There are various ways in which employers can maintain employee morale and productivity in the workplace without employees feeling the need to miss work for the World Cup (or the hangover following it). This could be through screening matches for employees, arranging social events or offering flexible working (or making up time) on a temporary basis. Notwithstanding these extra measures you may or may not choose to take, it is also worthwhile considering the following:

  • As an employer, you may notice an increase in requests for annual leave. Having an annual leave policy will, however, allow you to deal with this fairly and consistently.
  • If you have been unable to accommodate a request for annual leave, you may need to monitor employees’ sickness absence in the event that they claim they are ill and do not turn up to work. Having a sickness absence policy in place, and reminding employees of this, will put employees on notice as to what procedures to follow in situations of genuine sickness and the consequences of disciplinary action should unauthorised absences be taken from work.
  • While some sickness absences may appear questionable, undertaking return to work interviews may provide a means to investigate the absence. Should you wish to instigate the disciplinary procedure, you must ensure it is done fairly.

If you would like to know more about the above, please contact Associate, Siobhan Howard-Palmer on T: 0161 358 0537 or E: siobhanhoward-palmer@hrclaw.co.uk.

This contains a general overview of information only. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon, as legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.