Employers Guide to World Cup Launched

A new guide to help employers deal with staff absence during the World Cup has been launched by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The guide, Employment and the FIFA 2010 World Cup, produced in association with Abbey Legal Protection, is split into two categories: how to handle both authorised staff absence and situations where employees may simply fail to turn up to work on match or post-match days.

The FSB said it had designed the guide to help employers avoid tricky employment issues arising from unplanned absences during the month-long tournament, which starts on 11 June.

“Sorting out these issues before the first game kicks off means everyone can relax and enjoy the matches, while making sure jobs still get done in the workplace,”

said Mike Cherry, FSB policy chairman.

Specific advice includes putting a flexible-working system in place on match days so that staff can start work later or leave earlier and make the time up, and not to favour male over female employees when deciding which matches to grant time off for. Employers are also advised to make it clear to staff taking unexpected sick leave that medical evidence such as a doctor’s note would be required.

According to the FSB, the key for employers is to plan ahead and collaborate fully with staff. Making informal agreements about time off might lead to problems at a later stage if employees felt the system was unfair, the guide explains.

“Both employers and their staff need to look at celebrating the World Cup realistically. Employers need to be aware of the impact that unplanned absence could have on their ability to trade and employees need to know that throwing a sickie rather than asking for time off could result in disciplinary procedures.”

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