World Cup 2014 : Get Ready, Prepare and Go!

World Cup 2014 : Get Ready, Prepare and Go!                                  

The World Cup will take place in Brazil between Thursday 12th June 2014 and Sunday 13th July 2014. The kick off times for the England games are scheduled between 5pm and 11pm (UK  time). This is the final chance for employers to plan for the impact of the World Cup.

What do you need to consider?

Employers need to consider the employment issues thrown up by the World Cup. This involves:

  • Anticipating how your business will be disrupted and your staff affected.
  • Deciding how to deal with those disruptions.
  • Reviewing policies in areas where problems are likely to arise and amending policies if necessary.
  • Communicating key messages to staff, including setting out your policies during the World Cup and consulting with your staff if changes to terms are needed.
  • Briefing managers and issuing them with guidance.
  • Implementing policies consistently and dealing with any breaches of policy appropriately.

How will your business by affected?

Issues regarding staff include: staffing levels, unauthorised absence, flexible working arrangements and maintaining appropriate standards of workplace behaviour.

Holiday requests

The World Cup is likely to result in last minute competing holiday requests during an already busy holiday period. Whilst most members of staff will have applied for holiday already, there are always going to be last minute holiday applications. Having determined staffing levels required over the relevant period, you will need to manage competing requests.

Your annual leave policy should give guidance as to how to book time off. You may wish to look at being more flexible when allowing staff leave during this period, with the understanding that this will be a temporary arrangement. Staff should remember that special arrangements may not always be possible. The key is for both parties to try and come to an agreement. All leave requests should be considered fairly and consistently.

 Sickness absence

Before the start of the World Cup it would be best to remind all members of staff of your policy on absences as your sickness policy will still apply during this time. It is important that this policy is applied fairly and consistently for all staff. Levels of attendance should be monitored during this period in accordance with your attendance policy. Any unauthorised absence or patterns in absence could result in formal proceedings. This could include the monitoring of high levels of sickness or late attendance due to post match hangovers.

 Watching Matches

Staff are likely to want to watch matches during working hours. It is therefore worth considering if it would be possible to have a more flexible working day so that members of staff can come in later or finish sooner and agree when this time will be made up. You could also consider allowing staff to listen to the radio or watch the TV. It is important to be fair and consistent with all staff.

If you have any questions in relation to any of the points raised, contact Claire Berry, our employment law specialist, on 01480 442040 or email:

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