Advice for employers during the World Cup
9th June 2010
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Worried about staff attendance during the World Cup.  Carolyne Wahlen of Gap HR Services has the following advice.

With the World Cup there may be some “unauthorised” absence from staff to watch games.

Although England only has one match in an afternoon, other countries have more.

You may have supporters of other nations’ teams in the firm – what can you do?

The strictest measure is to make clear to all staff that you know a match is being played that afternoon. If any of them are absent then you will assume that they are watching the match, which is unauthorised. Result for them is that they will be disciplined.

A much better approach is to introduce flexible working for this short period. The staff are able to be at home or at the pub watching. You know that they will make up the hours and meet their deadlines. This would include the option to do shift swaps, as long as enough cover is there.

Another option is to encourage them to take holiday (paid or unpaid) for the games they want to watch.

Someone did suggest showing the matches in the office and making it a staff “event”. You will need a television licence for your company. However it might annoy those staff who aren’t into football at all.

There will be much more alcohol drunk than usual. So while absence to watch games is a concern, the after-effects of excessive drinking by supporters will probably be more of an issue. Make sure you have your policies up to date regarding unauthorised absence, internet use and alcohol abuse.


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