Be on the ball about World Cup, firms told
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.