Both Acas and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) have brought out advice and guidance for employers dealing with this year’s World Cup and the potential problems that can bring.

In essence, both bodies advocate forward planning for employers to boost employee motivation and engagement in even the smallest of businesses. Their reminder is a timely one – according to a recent poll by the CIPD, 9 out of 10 employers have no plans in place to help manage staff absence during the World Cup. The poll asked more than 1,000 employers and found that just 5% of them have developed a policy and another 5% are in the process of developing one.

In view of these results, the guidance from Acas and from the CIPD may just help a number of businesses to deal with the potential issues. The guidance suggests different approaches that employers can consider to help their employees to enjoy the matches that are important to them without compromising their business needs. These may include:

The guide also advises employers to clarify and reiterate their organisational policy on absence, whether alcohol related or not. Business owners and employers should make clear to workers that there are disciplinary consequences for taking unauthorised time off without good reason or for not performing satisfactorily or misbehaving at work.

The CIPD suggests employers should encourage workers to use their annual leave entitlement, particularly to discourage general absenteeism and poor performance through over-indulging in alcohol. However, it’s clear that the situation needs careful management. In a small business, it only takes 2 football-loving employees to request the same day off to cause some major headaches. At least if the company has considered the potential issues and come up with some answers, the chances are the headaches will be diminished. Although the football-associated hangovers are another question entirely!

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