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Employment law

Employment law - are the odds in your favour for the World Cup?

Like the England gaffer, Roy Hodgson you’ve selected your team and have confidence that they will be fit, healthy and ready for action during the World Cup period. Naturally in any football tournament there’s going to be some heavy competition and hurdles to contend with such as absence, lateness, productivity and holidays – there may even be yellow cards which add up to that horrible word, suspension.

According to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) flexibility by both parties is key for productivity and engagement particularly when it comes to requests for annual leave, unauthorised absence or the use of Internet during working hours.

Annual leave

As an employee you should have clear guidance on the correct procedures for booking time off, do you have to give a certain amount of notice? Does there have to be other staff in for cover?

POINT:If your employer has said that you cannot have the time off due to staffing issues it is important to note that while you are entitled to annual leave as a statutory right your employer can say when your vacation days can be taken. Refer to your contract or company handbook.

While sorting out annual leave when you are an employer can be a bit of a headache – during the World Cup it is reasonable to think that your staff will want time off, so try to be accommodating and as flexible as you can, this applies in all major tournaments for any sport, not everyone is a football fan.

Unauthorised absence

According to a survey conducted for YouGov before the FIFA World Cup, one in four 25-34-year-old men planned to take an unauthorised absence during the tournament, while sickness is unavoidable it is important to remember that an employer’s regular sickness policy will apply during this time – it is more than likely if you are an employee your attendance will be monitored so an unauthorised absence could result in formal proceedings for high levels of sickness or lateness for that hangover following last night’s game.

POINT:If you suspect an employee is playing sick due to a hangover or to watch a match then try to get as much information from your employee about their sickness when they return. Look for sickness patterns and act consistently and practically.

Internet use

If employers give their employees access to the internet or computers it is likely that there will be an increase in visits to sporting news websites or social media covering the World Cup action.

As an employer this is up to you how much you monitor – ensure you have a clear policy regarding internet use in the workplace which is transparent with what is and is not acceptable.

POINT: See the World Cup as an opportunity to engage more with your employees so if employees are found browsing non-work related subjects ask them to make that time up or allow staff to listen to the radio instead?

Although the World Cup can be seen as a concern, don’t underestimate the positive effects that it can produce – staff and colleagues should be in high spirits and if an employer makes the effort then that positive feeling will extend to the workplace.

Whether you’re an organisation, employer, employee or self-employed the field of employment law can be extremely complex and daunting and with this in mind Lanshaws Solicitors can help you to make the right decisions.

We can work carefully with you on disputes over attendance issues, annual leave, disciplinary procedures, and can also provide guidance on creating company policies involving internet usage, attendance and contracts concerning attendance.

We treat our clients on an individual basis, so if you are looking for an employment law solicitor in Nottingham contact us today.