Business Advice HR expert, and associate director at Peninsula, Kate Palmer, helps prepare employers for the England football team’s upcoming World Cup Final with advice on how to monitor staff sick days.
Believe it or not, the England football team have made it through to the World Cup semi-final match. If they win, they’ll play in the final for the first time since 1966.
For the last month, employers across the country will likely have seen significant employee response to the tournament as it has progressed. Now, with participation in the final a definite possibility, you may be concerned about the best ways to manage your staff on Final day and beyond.
If your rules mean that employees who are due to work on Sunday (or Monday) have left it too late to book annual leave, make this clear to them.
You should also inform all staff that attendance levels will be monitored on Sunday and Monday. You should refer to your existing discipline policy in this situation and consider proceeding with a disciplinary investigation in response to unexplained absences.
Take a look at how the World Cup has impacted small UK businesses:
- High street set for £1.33bn World Cup 2018 spending windfall – if England make it through group stages
- Here’s how likely your staff are to pull sickies during the World Cup
- Self-employed set to dodge £13bn World Cup productivity slump
However, it may also be advisable to talk to your staff and establish a compromise that will allow them to watch the final whilst still doing their job.
If possible, you could consider showing the match in the workplace but remember the need to have a TV licence. As a further deterrent to employees thinking about taking an unauthorised absence, you could make an event out of the occasion, allowing employees to dress-down and bring in party food.
Another element of flexibility could include agreeing for staff to finish their shift slightly earlier so they can get home for the start of the match at 4pm or start slightly later than normal so they can see it through to the end. You should also consider what will happen if extra time and penalties are needed.
Whatever your choice, you must reinforce your rules about alcohol in the workplace, both on Sunday and on Monday, especially for those whose role includes driving or operating machinery which carry health and safety risks.
A little flexibility may go a long way with your staff, especially if it is another 52 years until England reaches the final again.
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