• The 2018 World Cup is almost upon us, with the first game taking place in Russia on Thursday 14th June.

    The popular football tournament will run until Sunday 15th July, and the start time of matches will vary between 1pm and 8pm in the UK.

    As with any major sporting event, there will be issues for employers to consider in order to strike a balance between being flexible to staff who are following the World Cup and making sure business is not affected.

    ACAS has got the ball rolling with its official guidance for employers, which can be found here. We have summarised its top tips below.

    Time Off

    Employers and employees may wish to take a flexible approach to time off during the World Cup, for example, agreeing a later start/finish time and allowing time to be made up. Equally, employees must recognise that not all requests for leave may be granted, particularly at short notice.

    The key is for requests to be treated fairly and consistently in line with usual procedure. Don’t forget, not everyone is interested in football!

    Sickness Absence

    Attendance levels during the World Cup should be monitored, and absences dealt with under your usual attendance and sickness absence policies. Keep an eye out for any high sickness absence levels, or lateness due to post-match celebrations (or commiserations!) and make sure you deal with these in accordance with your policy. Unauthorised absences could lead to formal proceedings being taken.

    Social Media Use

    Interested employees may be checking sports websites or social media more regularly to keep up to speed with the latest results.

    Make sure staff are reminded of your social media and internet use policies and know what is or is not permitted during working hours.

    Drinking at Work

    Again, make sure employees are aware of the policy regarding being under the influence at work or drinking during working hours. Breaches of the policy may result in disciplinary action, therefore remind staff what behaviour is expected of them.

    The World Cup is a great event for colleagues to connect and facilitate good working practices. It also gives a company a chance to demonstrate its flexibility and support for its employee’s interests of which can help morale and productivity across the teams. The aim is not to over-police the event but ensure the right consideration has been given to the expected behaviour in the workplace and to minimise disruption.

    For guidance on workplace policies such as managing attendance and flexible working get in touch with our Employment Team who will be happy to help.

    This content is correct at time of publication

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