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Managing employment issues during the World Cup

Dealing with holiday requests during the World Cup

The conciliation group Acas, says flexibility from both employers and employees during the tournament is key to a productive and engaged workforce.

Acas advises employers to have agreements in place before the start of the World Cup regarding how they will deal with time off (especially where there are competing requests), sickness absence and watching the matches during work time.

Acas suggests employers may want to be more flexible in allowing annual leave during the World Cup period. Employers should deal with any competing requests fairly, as they would with requests at other periods of high demand (such as Christmas and the summer holidays).

For their part, employees are advised to acknowledge that such flexibility might not be possible due to the needs of the business, and even if it was, it would only be a temporary arrangement.

Thinking of calling in sick during the World Cup?

Over the years YouGov, have carried out surveys to understand the impact of (among other events) the World Cup on business productivity. Previous surveys have said that as many as one in four men aged between 25-34 year-old men would seriously consider taking an unauthorised absence when the World Cup kicks off.

While this might seem like a good idea, you should think twice before you pick up the phone and call in sick. If your employer smells a rat you could open yourself up to disciplinary procedures.

But what do you do if there is an ‘unmissable game’ scheduled during working hours? The best approach is to discuss with your manager. Possible solutions are to agree an early start so you can finish early or work some extra hours and agree to time of lieu. Or just ask for a longer-lunch break as a ‘favour’ for all your hard work!

Employers may consider swapping shift patterns, or simply allowing staff to listen to /or watch live matches whilst at work. The World Cup is as an opportunity for employers to improve engagement with their staff and boost morale so maybe earn some brownie points!

Worried About Employees World Cup Social Media Commentary?

In the age of social media employers we call all expect an increase in commentary on social media sites during the World Cup Tournament.

Some comments will be harmless, some may be cringe worthy but unfortunately some will unsavoury – to say the least.

If you, as an employer, are concerned about the distraction of social media, and the potential for bad publicly from ‘unsavoury’ posts, you should establish the ground rules before the World Cup Tournament kicks off.

If employees are using an account which can be easily linked to the Company, employees should be reminded of the Companies policy on usage of social media. This should include usage during working hours, a zero tolerance on race and other discrimination and given an unequivocal reminder of the potential repercussions (disciplinary or possible dismissal) for bringing the company into disrepute as a result of their social media posts.

These ground rules should be clearly communicated prior to the World Cup Tournament and consistently applied throughout.

Ruby Dinsmore