With the excitement of the World Cup hitting fever pitch following England’s win against Sweden on Saturday and the team ultimately securing themselves a place in the World Cup semi-final for the first time since 1990. Employers might want to prepare themselves for a significant rise in unauthorised absences.  

As an employer, you might have already noticed your employees being consumed by the World Cup hysteria throughout the last month and perhaps have already seen a rise in unauthorised absences. After all, it’s hard not to be gripped by the collective euphoria as we all start to believe that football could genuinely be coming home after 52 years of hurt.

However, if this is the case, the World Cup final is set to take place on Sunday at 4pm and if you’re an employer that is open for business on this date (or Monday), you may be wondering about the best ways to manage your employees, particularly the ones that are already planning on pulling a sickie.

To help, we have put together a few options you can choose from to help you best manage this:

  • Make employees aware that attendance levels are being monitored

It is important to let your employees know that you are actively monitoring their attendance levels throughout the next week. Especially on game days and the following days.

  • Refer to your existing discipline policy

In response to any unexplained or unauthorised absences, having your discipline policy to hand will inform you of best practice in proceeding with a disciplinary investigation.

  • Reinforce any rules about alcohol in the workplace

The combination of the World Cup fever and the heat wave we’re having in England at the moment means it’s prime time for drinking alcohol. Therefore, as an employer you should ensure that you reinforce any rules about alcohol in the workplace and the consequences if this is abused.

  • Compromise with your employees beforehand

It is important to recognise that a little flexibility will go a long way with your employees, especially if it is another 52 years until England reaches the World Cup final again. To compromise you could:

Consider showing the match in the workplace

Suggesting to your employees that they can watch England play whilst still doing their work could discourage them from pulling a sickie on that day. It is important to remember though, that a TV licence would be required for this to happen.

Make an event out of the occasion

Allowing employees to dress-down or bring in party food will act as a further deterrent to those employees who are thinking about taking an unauthorised absence.

Let employees finish slightly earlier

Another compromise could include allowing your employees to finish or start their shift slightly earlier or later, so they can be home for the start of the semi-final at 7 pm this evening or the final at 4 pm on Sunday.

Whichever of these options you choose to employ over the coming days, it is important to remember that a happy workplace is a productive workplace. Rules are absolutely there to obeyed but sometimes a little flexibility goes a long way to boosting workforce morale. As the countdown for tonight’s semi-final begins, finding the right approach to take in your workplace may be difficult, but hopefully these suggestions have aided you in deciding how best to strike that perfect balance. Ultimately, whatever step you decide to take, we hope you’ll have the opportunity to watch Southgate and his men take one more step in ensuring that football truly is coming home.