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Friday, 28 May 2010

Friday Guest Blog - Is your business prepared for the World Cup?


Friday Guest Blog by Zara Niemand, from the Employment Law Team at Ralli


Is your business prepared for the World Cup?

World Cup fever is upon us and is starting to dominate the attention of our country. The prominent question being....is your business ready for the 11th June 2010?

A number of World Cup games clash with normal business hours, including that of England v Slovenia on 23rd June, it is also likely that as England progress through the tournament, employers will be faced with various issues of unauthorised absences from employees either as a result of wanting to watch the game or to recover from the over indulgence in alcohol the night before.

In our experience the cause of much of the conflict for occasions such as these arises through lack of communication. Acas advise that line managers and employees are aware of how requests for leave can be made as well as the consequences of unauthorised absence.

Minimising unauthorised absences

There are a number of options for employers to minimise the number of unauthorised absences, these include:

• Emphasising the disciplinary consequences an employee may face for taking unauthorised time off work

• Encouraging employees to take annual leave either from the employees annual allowance or unpaid

• Hosting special screenings of matches at work premises

• Introducing ‘flexible working’, where employees can make up their time during a lunch hour, or before or after work to enable them to watch the key matches that are during work hours
It is also important that non-England supporters and non-football fans are given exactly the same flexibility to ensure no complaints of discrimination or unfair treatment arise.

Ways to avoid a business own goal

• Employers should review their absence management policy or ensure they put one in place if they do not have one

• Keep a diary of all games that may coincide with normal working hours (Please see our handy list at the bottom of this Blog)

• Remind employees that unauthorised absence will be dealt with according to your company’s disciplinary procedure

• Employers should look to monitor their employees patterns of absence and ensure that return to work interview are carried out where appropriate

• Employees are within their right to book annual leave to watch the football and employers should notify employees that requests will be considered where possible, however, employers should ensure that annual leave is granted fairly for example on a first come first served basis.


Dates for your diary

Friday 11th June
15:00 South Africa v Mexico

Monday 14th June
12:30 Netherlands v Denmark
15:00 Japan v Cameroon

Tuesday 15th June
12:30 New Zealand v Slovakia
15:00 Côte d'Ivoire v Portugal

Wednesday 16th June
12:30 Honduras v Chile
15:00 Spain v Switzerland

Thursday 17th June
15:00 Greece v Nigeria
12:30 Argentina v Korea Republic

Friday 18th June
15:00 Slovenia v USA
12:30 Germany v Serbia

Monday 21st June
15:00 Chile v Switzerland
12:30 Portugal v Korea DPR

Tuesday 22nd June
15:00 Mexico v Uruguay
15:00 France v South Africa

Wednesday 23rd June
15:00 Slovenia v England
15:00 USA v Algeria

Thursday 24th June
15:00 Slovakia v Italy
15:00 Paraguay v New Zealand

Friday 25th June
15:00 Portugal v Brazil
15:00 Korea DPR v Côte d'Ivoire

Last 16
Monday 28th June 16:00 1E v 2F
Tuesday 29th June 16:00 1F v 2E

Quarter-finals
Friday 2nd July 16:00 W53 v W54

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