Acas has published guidance for employers on how to handle potentially difficult situations throughout the World Cup, which takes place between 14 June and 15 July.

world cup

World Cup guidance for employers:

Plan ahead

Acas recommends that employers who are worried about staff productivity should plan ahead to reduce the impact that the World Cup could have on their business. This includes having agreements or policies in place relating to taking time off, sickness absence and perhaps even watching the matches during working hours.  It advises that employers might want to talk to their staff to gauge the level of interest in the World Cup in order to prepare for and balance requests for time off with the needs of the business.

Take a flexible approach

Acas recommends that employers consider flexible working practices, even if only as a short-term measure. For example,  staff could be allowed to come in a little later or finish earlier and then agree when this time can be made up.  Allowing staff to take their breaks during certain matches so they can listen to the radio or watch the TV may be another option as may allowing staff to swap shifts.  Acas advises employers to apply a fair and consistent approach when allowing additional benefits during the World Cup.

Time off

Employees who wish to take time off should book annual leave in the normal way. If a significant number of staff request the same time off, employers may need to adopt a ‘first come first served’ approach. Acas advises that all leave requests should be considered fairly and a consistent approach be taken in relation to other major sporting events.

Sickness absence

Sickness absence policies should be operated fairly and consistently and levels of attendance should be monitored in accordance with attendance policies.

Websites and social networking

Acas advises that employers may wish to remind staff of any policies regarding the use of social networking and websites during working hours.

Drinking or being under the influence at work

Acas recommends that employers should consider having guidelines in place which clearly set out what is acceptable, for example, a no alcohol policy and remind staff of what it expects from them.