Managing World Cup fever

June 15, 2018
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Between the 14 June and 15 July 2018, some of your staff will be gripped by World Cup fever. What problems could this create and how can you manage them effectively?

The match fixtures are on various days between 14 June and the 15 July 2018. This time round the World Cup could cause several problems for employers as many of the matches will take place during the day, starting at 11am.

Tip 1. The daytime fixtures could encourage fraudulent sickness absence, so the first thing you should do is remind staff that you will be monitoring absence closely.

Staff Coverage. On Friday 15 June, Belgium will play Panama at 4pm followed by Tunisia verses England. Matches that are fixed at this time could mean;

  • Demands for the same break times from all your football fans – this could leave you short staffed.
  • Employees trying it on for a longer breaks

Your rules.Unless your employee has a contractual break set out in their employment contracts, you can set the time a break is taken and insist on staggered lunch times.

Requests to leave early. Another issue that match timings could cause is requests to leave early. For example, on Thursday 28 June England will play Belgium at 7pm. On the 28 June, Poland will also be playing Japan at 3pm. So be warned that Friday 29 June may be prime day for sickness.

Tip 2. If you do allow requests to leave early, make sure that you treat all employees equally and fairly after all, not all of our staff will be supporting England.

Websites and social networking

During the World Cup, there may be an increase in staff using social networking sites, sports news websites or official sporting events pages on the internet.

Employers may wish to remind staff of any policies regarding the use of social networking and websites during working hours. The policies should be clear on what is and isn’t acceptable web use.

Sweepstake rules

As with most major sporting events, some employees may wish to run a workplace sweepstake. This is OK providing they seek your permission in advance and stick to the rules for private lotteries. The Gambling Act 2005 states that;

  • A workplace sweep stake must not be run for profit.
  • Prize monies must not be allowed to roll over.
  • Non-employees are not allowed to participate.

A workplace sweepstake can not run over different branches or multiple sites. Furthermore, a workplace sweepstake can not be set up to raise money for charity