Posted by: the3rdi | June 8, 2010

Time out for the World Cup

As the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa kicks off employers are advised to implement a policy to deal with potential staff absences over the football season.

The average length of absence from work in the private sector is 6.4 days per year, whilst public sector
employees clock up 9.8 days.1

With England’s first match kicking off on Saturday 12 June against the USA and then continuing on Wednesday 23 June against Algeria, employers must manage employee expectations during this global sporting event.

Neeta Laing, head of employment law at Lewis HymansonSmall, said:

“As World Cup fever hits your office employers may have to balance employee enjoyment with business output.

“It is important to create a culture of trust in your workplace so staff feel morally obligated to be truthful.
You don’t want to be seen as a killjoy so you could consider introducing flexible working hours for staff,
reorganising the shift rota, agreeing to annual leave and even screening matches in your office.”

The consequences for employees, if found to be lying about legitimate absence,     can be career damaging. If
a member of staff is found to have taken sick leave but it suffering with a alcohol-related hangover,
disciplinary procedures may well be invoked. Unauthorised time off can affect the success of a business, overall profits and customer service.

Neeta continues:

“To effectively manage short-term absence consult an employment solicitor if an ongoing problem arises. There are several ways to determine if an employee has been truthful about their absence, these include return-to- work interviews, disciplinary procedures for unacceptable absence levels, training line managers in absence management, restricting sick pay and involving occupational health professionals.”

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