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With the World Cup now underway, employers will doubtless be keen to ensure staff productivity does not dip as fans prepare to enjoy the festival of football that spans the next four weeks.

Employment law advisory group ACAS has already been urging companies to show some flexibility in allowing fans time off and potentially flexible hours during the tournament, but there are still factors to bear in mind now the action has kicked off.

Sickness and absence

With many employees potentially seeking time off at similar times, particularly in order to ensure they do not miss England matches, it may be hard to satisfy everyone. Remember, not everyone likes football and it is important to keep these people in mind as well.

In cases where football fans are required to be in work, it may be that businesses start to notice a pattern in the amount and frequency of sick days being taken. In particular, match days or the morning after a game could be dates to monitor.

Employee contracts should clearly outline the company policy on sick leave, and any worker suspected of feigning illness will likely be subject to disciplinary procedures.

It should also go without saying that turning up unfit for work will also be covered in an employees contract. You should make sure all staff are aware of the disciplinary measures in place for those exhibiting the effects of the previous night’s exertions.

Social media

Matches in Brazil will kick off at 5pm, 8pm and 11pm, so the average office will not be overly affected. However, those that stay open until 5:30 may wish to circle Tuesday June 24th, when England’s match with Costa Rica kicks off at 5pm.

Employers whose businesses are open in the evenings may also find themselves having to deal with staff who will be doing all they can not to miss a moment throughout the competition.

One way workers may attempt to do this is through accessing social media or live streaming matches at their desk.

Many workplaces have a clearly defined policy on personal use of company computers, as well as the use of smartphones at work. It is a good idea to remind staff of this as the tournament begins, as this will ensure everyone is on the same page and aware of their responsibilities.

Employment law advice

What this shows is the importance of having an employment contract that covers a range of factors. This will ensure you are protected if you need to take disciplinary action against an employee, as you can show they were fully aware of their obligations from an early stage.

For more advice on dealing with these issues, contact Ralli today on 0161 832 6131 to speak to a member of our team.