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As most of us are looking forward to watching the world cup, I know I certainly am!!  I thought I would bring to your attention that issues could arise for employers and employees if there is an increase in absentee levels in the month to come with the FIFA World Cup starting on Friday the 11th of June.

Employees who take unauthorised absence could be subjected to internal disciplinary proceedings.  Of course, there are ways of avoiding this and there are measures that employers can adopt to control absence levels especially during the world cup.

If practical depending on the type of employment, employers could allow employees to have coverage of world cup matches on in the background, however this is not always the case as I well know from working in a busy lawyers firm.  This could be either on the television or on the radio and would be on the basis that employees would still work while the matches were being played.

Alternatively employees could be informed that it they want to enjoy watching live coverage during work hours, then they will be obliged to take annual leave to do so.  If employees do take unscheduled sickness absence during the match period, then this will be closely monitored by the employer.  

Another option would be to offer staff an incentive in order for them not to miss work during the matches. 

The viable and flexible option for both parties may be to offer employees time off work or the option of watching matches at an agreed location.  This would be on the condition that employees would agree to make up for any time over a set period.  This arrangement gives the employer control over who is on leave guaranteeing adequate coverage in the department and allows the employee to keep their annual leave but still watch the World Cup matches.  

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