Employers urged to cut out ‘World Cup-itis’
Mace & Jones head of employment law Martin Edwards, one of the UK’s leading employment lawyers, said it is wise to set out the ground rules for staff behaviour before the competition begins on June 11. It should be possible to cut out sickies and minimise disruption whilst maintaining staff morale.
“Many employers will decide to take a pragmatic approach to the World Cup for their own benefit,” he said. “We know the World Cup is going to be hugely popular and already one of England’s group games is happening during the working day.
To limit disruption when big games are on, some employers may be willing to adjust normal working practices. For instance, they might offer to screen the games or offer flexible working hours, shift swaps or encourage staff to take unpaid leave or paid holiday. Staff need to know what the boundaries are. There should be clear guidance on alcohol, dress and behaviour.”
Mr Edwards added: “Consistency is just as important as clarity and equal treatment. It also makes sense for employers to send a clear message that they are looking out for symptoms of World Cup-itis. Staff need to understand that absence without a valid reason or poor performance due to hangovers around big games will be treated seriously and may result in disciplinary action, which in the most serious cases might involve dismissal.”
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