World Cup Fever is gripping the planet and ACAS have produced guidance on how employers should handle the world cup with regard to employees wanting to watch matches. There have been similar guidance notes produced before other big sporting events in the past but to be honest we’ve never known it to be a problem in most work places!

Employers may want to be aware of staff wanting to take annual leave to stay at home and watch the match (or get away from it all to a remote island with no TV or internet cover!!?!) but if you already have an annual leave booking system in place we see no reason for this to cause any significant disruption.

ACAS highlight that non genuine sickness absence may increase if staff can’t get holiday to watch the football. We think this is not really a common occurrence but if you notice a pattern of ‘sickies’ that correlate with football matches, deal with this in the same way as you would any other issues regarding non genuine sickness absence – this will usually be your disciplinary procedure!

Perhaps the more important consideration is to be clear on what is and isn’t acceptable regarding following matches or keeping up with the scores during work time. Will you allow a bit of flexibility for people to enjoy this occasion or will you take a tougher stance on employees needing to just get on with their jobs? The choice is yours but being explicit with your staff may save any problems later on.

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