Is it coming home? More importantly; are your employees going to work?!

June 26, 2018


The 2018 World Cup is in full swing and with all the hype and popularity of this event it is likely that many employees will want to support their country, therefore it is advisable to set out what the Company expects in advance to lessen major workplace disruption or staffing issues.

The games will continue to take place until Sunday 15th July between the hours of 1pm and 8pm. Employees may want to book time off to enjoy the games or use the internet to keep updated with the game results.

Ensure that you have workable agreements or policies in place to cover employees taking time off, sickness absence or even consider allowing employees to watch the games during working hours.

It would be advisable to have a discussion with your employees to establish how many individuals would be interested in the World Cup and manage expectations.  It may not be possible to grant time off at the time of the event due to business requirements, but you may be able to look at other options such as:

  • Allowing employees to work a more flexible working day for example coming in later or finishing earlier and making the hours up at another time.
  • Agreeing for employees to have a radio or TV on, either in the break area or other location, to watch or listen to the games.
  • Agreeing to allow shift swapping where some employees are not interested in the matches. All changes would need to be agreed with management in advance.

Whatever is agreed there needs to be a consistent and fair approach to all employees.  Gaining agreement will hopefully reduce issues by ensuring that employer and employee are on the same page.

If the business can sustain employees taking time off during the period of the World Cup, days should be booked as per the holiday booking policy in the employee handbook/contract.  Employees must be aware that the Company may not be able to grant all days requested due to the amount of people wanting time off at the same time.

Some employees may want to travel to Russia to attend games, they must be reminded of the holiday booking policy and not to book and pay for any travel before the leave has been agreed by the Company.  They should also be mindful of travel delays and book enough annual leave off to cover potential delays in returning to the UK.

Sickness absence levels should be monitored during the period of the World Cup.  Patterns of sickness or high absence levels, poor time keeping and underperformance due to post match celebrations could result in formal action being taken and employees need to be aware of this beforehand.

Employees may wish to access social networking sites or the internet to get match updates, employers should remind staff of any policies in place and what is considered acceptable and what isn’t in respect of mobile phones, internet and computer usage during working hours.

Employees may wish to drink alcohol during the matches and should be reminded of the Company’s drug and alcohol policies whilst they are at work including what is and isn’t acceptable.  Employees attending work whilst under the influence of alcohol or drinking whilst at work may be subject to disciplinary action.


At HELP we are the experts so you don’t have to be.  We provide outsourced HR and Employment Law advice to businesses, from producing bespoke employment documentation to advising and guiding managers through HR issues, right through to employment tribunal representation.  As a client of HELP you are allocated your own commercially aware consultant who quickly gets to know you and your business.  We do not tie you into long term contracts so if at any point the service is no longer suitable to your business, you are free to leave at any time.


Why not give us a call today on 01543 431 050 or email to discuss how we can HELP you?

This post is in: Employee Relations Blogs, Employment Law Blogs, Featured

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