Absence Management For Upcoming Football and Ruby League World Cups
With the Football World Cup due to take place 20th November 2022 – 18th December 2022 and The Rugby League World Cup due to take place from 15th October 2022 – 19th November 2022, staff absences are likely to be high.
How does an Employer Manage this?
It would be prudent for any employer to first get an idea of how many employees, if any, wish to take periods of leave during the upcoming world cups. Are Employee’s wanting the time off to simply watch the games on TV? Or travel to the destinations? If staff simply want to watch the games on TV an employer could consider setting up a TV so their employee’s can watch the games at work. If however employee’s wish to utilise their annual leave it may be wise for the business to consider making their staff aware of the company stance in respect of their annual leave booking procedure, or what happens in the event of an overabundance of requests. If an annual leave policy is silent on this specific, or indeed there is no policy of which to speak of, an employer may wish to allocate on a first come first served basis, or even base the approval of requests on a simple lottery system so team members know they have all had equal chance of getting the time off.
In terms of televising the games at work, could a UK employer meet employee’s half-way and just televise United Kingdom Teams i.e. England & Wales Games?
While at first sight this may appear a reasonable thing for an employer to do, there is the potential for employees to feel this action is discriminatory based on race, if they feel that the interests of a certain nationality are being given more favourable treatment.
What if a holiday request has been turned down and the employee says they will take the time-off regardless?
This is likely to be considered a disciplinary offence, therefore it would be recommended an employer first makes the employee aware in writing, that their leave request has been turned down and the reasons for it, instructing them to attend work on the days they have requested for annual leave. They should also be made aware that should they not report for duty or claim sickness, then the employer reserves the right to take formal disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
What if an Employer feels that their employee’s will not bother asking for annual leave and just call in sick?
If an employer believes the prospect of this occurring its likely, they can issue a memo/company instruction to all employee’s that any absences between the date’s of concern could be subject to formal investigatory action upon their employee’s return, for which the Employer can request evidence to support the reason for the absence in the first place. This will certainly act as a deterrent to even the most ardent of sporting fans!
There are many HR Considerations surrounding this, so naturally, there are many questions.
Anything else I need to consider?
Anything else I can do to improve performance and attendance?
Should we relax our internet use policy?
Holiday Management Solutions
We understand situations like this and many other Employment Law questions from employees can be confusing. At NORI HR and Employment Law we are here to answer questions for our clients 24/7/365 days a year. We also provide intuitive online HR Management Software that means all employee and workers holiday requests, approvals, rejections and accruals are managed through an online people management software tool. No matter where your teams are located around the country, employees and workers can access their personal account to make and manage requests and management teams can have a complete organisation or departmental overview to manage resources.
Free Download – World Cup Holiday Memo
Download your Free World Cup Holiday Memo to send to your team that outlines how the business will manage holiday requests and other practical working considerations throughout the World Cup.
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