Be on the ball about World Cup, firms told

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - ET Business Daily - By JOHN KRALEVICH john.kralevich@pe­ter­bor­oughto­

WITH the World Cup kick­ing off at the end of next week, lo­cal em­ploy­ers have been warned to en­sure they have poli­cies in place to avoid a sud­den out­break of World Cup fever among their work­force.

It is a well-known fact that sick­ness ab­sence in­creases at the time of ma­jor sport­ing events, and an em­ploy­ment spe­cial­ist at city-based Roythornes so­lic­i­tors says that prepa­ra­tion is the key to ef­fec­tively man­ag­ing the prob­lems this may cause.

Phil Cook­son said: “The ‘pinch point’ for many em­ploy­ers will come on Wed­nes­day, June 23, when Eng­land play slove­nia in their third and pos­si­bly cru­cial group match, which kicks off at three in the af­ter­noon.

“Many em­ploy­ees may want to watch, or lis­ten, to the match live, and em­ploy­ers need to take mea­sures to en­sure this causes as lit­tle dis­rup­tion as pos­si­ble.”

Mr Cook­son added that there were a num­ber of op­tions which could be taken, in­clud­ing ask­ing em­ploy­ees to take an­nual leave, look­ing at flex­i­ble work­ing, or even al­low­ing staff to watch the foot­ball on the premises. But each of these had its dangers, he stressed.

He said: “If you say that staff have to take an­nual leave, you need to make sure that you set out the rules for re­quest­ing the leave, as some min­i­mal cover is likely to be re­quired.

“Like­wise, hav­ing the fa­cil­ity to watch the match in the work­place may be good for em­ployee re­la­tions, but you should be very wary of let­ting al­co­hol be present, as this can cause se­ri­ous prob­lems in terms of staff safety.

“You may also want to re­view your in­ter­net us­age pol­icy, as with live ra­dio avail­able on­line, this could be an­other dis­trac­tion.”

Mr Cook­son’s fi­nal word of ad­vice was to start plan­ning now.

He said: “Many of the large em­ploy­ers, such as su­per­mar­kets have had their poli­cies in place for weeks, and have com­mu­ni­cated them to staff.

“The more warn­ing you can give your em­ploy­ees about the poli­cies you de­cide on, the bet­ter.”

warn­ing: Phil Cook­son says busi­nesses need to take mea­sures so that the World Cup causes min­i­mal dis­rup­tion.

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