The World Cup 2018 has kicked off and you may be faced with an increase in last minute requests for time off or even an unusual increase in absence.

Here are some points to help you through the next few weeks of football mania:

  • The majority of the games are scheduled for the afternoons, evenings and weekends so this may not affect your working environment. If you do operate during late evenings and weekends, you may want to allow your employees to swap shifts
  • Employees are not automatically entitled to time off to watch World Cup games, they would have to request annual leave through your normal procedure (check your annual leave policy within your handbook)
  • You may want to confirm this message if you believe your employees are huge football fans
  • You still retain the right to refuse annual leave requests taking into consideration the business needs
  • If you do refuse a request you may want to follow this up in writing, so it is clear if they then take unauthorised leave for that time, you would have the opportunity to pursue this as a disciplinary matter
  • Do not assume that all sickness during this time is related to the tournament. If you have a return to work process this will be really useful to identify any inconsistencies. You will find a sample return to work interview form in CybHR, our client area
  • Be mindful of any unconscious bias your managers may have, it might be assumed that English and male employees may be the only ones who want to watch the football. You don’t want to have a discrimination complaint to deal with
  • If an employee turns up for work late or if they appear to be under the influence of alcohol at work, then the normal disciplinary procedures should be followed. Perhaps it could be an opportunity to ensure your managers are confident about the drugs and alcohol policies, as well as the disciplinary procedure

Let’s not forget that this could be a good time to celebrate some ‘wins’ and bring employees together.

If you are a client of AHR Consultants, log in to your client area to view your handbook policies

Any further questions, call through to our team 0345 076 2288