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22:59 on Monday
22 December 2003

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World Cup ‘Fever’


Although it may seem some time away, the World Cup takes place this year, starting in June. Because of the time difference between the Uk and Japan/Korea, where the tournament is being held, most of the matches take place in the morning UK time.

Firms should be aware of this, particularly on the 7th June, when England play Argentina, because this match takes place at 12:30pm UK time, and there is the possibility, however slight, that some employees may try to call in sick on that day, or simply not turn up for work, so they can watch the match at home on television.

As with all potential trouble spots in the workplace, it is much better to have a policy, which is communicated to all of your employees, and the World Cup is no different. Options you could consider include:

  • Making sure that if employees want the time off, they take it as part of their annual leave.

  • Allowing staff to start later and work up the time over the following few days.

  • Allowing staff to have an extended lunch break or bring a large screen TV into the workplace - if you choose this option, bear in mind that with breaks etc, the game could stretch well over two hours.

If you decide you do need a policy, make sure it is fair and communicated throughout your workforce. If everybody knows at outset what your position is, they can make plans accordingly and they have no excuses for doing otherwise.

February 2002

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This article is an employment law e-ssentials bulletin produced by Hegarty & Co

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