Should employees get the day off if England get through to the final stages of the World Cup?

Should employees get the day off if England get through to the final stages of the World Cup?

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Manager Southgate admitted England cannot be regarded as a top team until they beat top teams. England has ended with some fantastic results when playing against Tunisia and Panama in their opening games, but the opposition was sub-standard, so provided no accurate measure of the standing of Southgate's team. This only made the nation even more curious as they were playing against Belgium. However, the loss was effectively to a 'B' international to Belgium in their final group game.  The curiosity of the nation wanting to know “Just how good are England?” can have detrimental consequences on UK employment.

World Cup and the workplace:

Absenteeism from employment in customer service jobs, warehouse jobs, retail jobs, engineering jobs had cost businesses £100 million a day in the 2006 World Cup. Whereas people with jobs in education sector embraced the World Cup, as it had a positive effect on both teachers and students.

ACAS chairman Sir Brendan Barber stated: “The World Cup is an exciting event for many football fans, but staff should avoid getting a red card for unreasonable demands or behaviour in the workplace during this period.” It was understood by the ACAS, that many businesses need to maintain a certain staffing level to survive. The advice given by the conciliation was “Employers who are concerned about staff productivity should start planning and implementing procedures as soon as possible to reduce the impact that the World Cup could have on their business”.

The government have stepped in to prevent these detrimental business losses happening in 2018 by working with the ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) before the World Cup had begun. The conciliation service said employers should be flexible when accommodating requests from workers. ACAS state “Our guidance published can help managers get the best from their team players, arrange appropriate substitutions if necessary and avoid unnecessary penalties or unplanned send offs.”

Why the modern employer would want to be flexible with employees?

The Job Satisfaction Engagement report  shows one of the top engagement condition points for employees was ‘enjoying a positive relationship with their immediate supervisors and feeling valued’. To a football enthusiast, having time off for an England game during the World Cup, would help make the employee feel valued as they are given the privilege to watch the game when organisations could have the employee working.

In the modern workplace autonomy is valued by employees. Employees want to choose when, where, and how work gets done. If there is an option to telework, employees should request it as it gives them the freedom they need to do their best work.

Furthermore, if England are as victorious to when Alf Ramsey’s England staged and won the 1966 FIFA World Cup, defeating West Germany 4-2.  An employee will be grateful to their employer for letting them view one of the most important games played by England.

It is understandable that certain employment for example, delivery driver jobs cannot allow time off as it can prove difficult for them to operate otherwise. However, the report mentions another top engagement condition point as ‘Making sure employers are providing an environment that encourages social interaction’. This can be implemented by having TV screens in the workplace e.g. in a depot, where employees can view the game with their colleagues.

‘it seems as though it may be ‘coming home’ for England, but so will the workplace absence, or should we say… hangovers!’

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