Kate Brooks
Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services
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Date Published:10 Mar 2016 Last Updated:22 Jul 2021

World Cup Match Schedule: How to avoid disruption at work

Employment Law Advice

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil starts on 12th June and finishes on 13th July 2014. For details of the match schedule click here.

Avid football fans and patriots will want to watch the matches which could lead to workplace disruption.

It is important for businesses to be clear about what is expected of employees over such sporting events.

There is no legal right to time off to watch matches but some employers take the view that allowing employees to take time out their working day to watch matches improves moral and creates a happy workforce therefore improving productivity.

Don’t forget not to discriminate based on nationality. In order to avoid such allegations businesses should be mindful of other nationalities when deciding which matches to watch.

In order to put employees off skiving from work to watch matches or coming in late employers should have very clear disciplinary policies which cite unauthorised absence as an example of misconduct to be dealt with under disciplinary polices.

Some ideas to avoid disruption include the following:

  • Consider introducing flexible working or allowing staff to swap shifts
  • Put in place a World Cup policy, setting out rules, procedures and sanctions
  • Ensure that your disciplinary and sickness policies are clear and properly implemented to avoid unauthorised absence
  • Deal with holiday requests fairly
  • Don’t discriminate

If you need any further information on this topic please contact me at kate.brooks@ellisjones.co.uk.