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The World Cup 2018 and Staff Absenteeism – how to avoid an own goal!

Published on 15 June 2018 | Modified on 15 June 2018

Written by Stacey Bennett

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is now underway and will run until 15 July.

Football fans will be eager to watch as much of the action as they can but with many of the matches taking place during business hours how can employers keep staff morale and attendance high?

The first step is to set clear expectations for your staff – refer them to your attendance policies (annual leave and sickness absence for example) and make it clear that absences should be authorised as per the relevant policies; if you do not have such policies, consider implementing them now.  Once such policies are in place, it’s a good idea to stick to them to ensure consistency of treatment for your staff.

Generally, happy staff are more productive (and loyal) so keeping your team on side can be worthwhile. Consider whether you are prepared to let staff come in late or leave early to catch important games – you can always require them to make up the lost hours another time if necessary. International sporting events can also offer a good opportunity for team building; an early finish and a staff outing to watch a match might provide a helpful morale boost.

The World Cup needn’t cause an employment headache as long as employers plan their approach and set clear expectations.

If you need advice on managing attendance or employment law more generally please contact Eve Lakin on

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