Major sporting events often lead to problems for employers. Employers can expect to receive numerous requests for time off and employees ringing in sick to watch a match or recover from their post-match hangover!
Requests for time off
There is no legal requirement to grant employees time off to watch World Cup matches. However, the following may increase staff morale and minimise the number of absences:
Try and stop this happening in the first place by issuing a memo setting out your policy on the World Cup. State that absences which are non-genuine or which aren’t reported in line with your sickness absence policy will be dealt with under your disciplinary procedure.
Make it clear return to work interviews will be held. You will need to hold these for all staff returning from sick leave, not just staff whom you suspect have been watching the football.
Require employees to notify their absence to a specified senior person, such as a director or HR Manager.
Ensure you have a clear sickness absence policy and a reliable method of recording sickness absence. This should enable you to identify patterns of sickness absence.
Follow your sickness absence and disciplinary procedures consistently.
For further information or advice, please contact Sarah Furness on 0191 232 8345 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org