The World Cup and the sick day dilemma

With the World Cup launching this week fans from all over the world are ready for what should be a very entertaining month of football.  However, employers are not as excited given that there is a great chance many employees are apt to call in ‘sick’ in order to watch the big games that match up with their work shifts.

Guidelines are already circulating about how company’s can best deal with this problem suggesting tips such as the fact that all employees that call in ‘sick’ on match days be required to provide evidence of a GP visit or other medical evidence.  In order for this to be effective however, employers will need to implement the policy across the workforce, which may affect many who have genuine health problems.

Businesses are also reminded that employees are not able to claim it is their right to take their annual leave during the World Cup, and that all holiday requests can be refused for applicable reasons such as being shorthanded by the employer.

Given the World Cup only comes once every four years, it may be tempting to allow the time off for company employees, but keep in mind that not all football fans are English and male thus fair treatment needs to be given to all employees regardless of which team they support.  Along the same lines, annual leave requests from those who do not fit the mould and those who have no interest in football but simply want a leave should be equally weighed.