UK: Prepare Your Business For Outbreak Of World Cup 'Fever'

Last Updated: 14 May 2014
Article by Jonathan Wright

With the eagerly anticipated football World Cup in Brazil fast approaching, how will this major sporting event impact your employees and, in turn, your business? It was estimated that the World Cup in 2006 cost British business up to Ł4 billion in lost productivity. As a result, employers took steps to address this at the last World Cup in South Africa and with under 2 months until the start of Brazil 2014, now is the time to start planning again.

Impact on retailers

Employees from all parts of your business will be enthralled by the tournament, be it head office, store, warehouse or maintenance staff. Retailers often have very diverse workforces and as such, it is not just a case of planning for England matches. Knock-out matches are likely to be of interest to all football fans, whichever country is playing.

Fortunately, for many employers, most matches are scheduled to kick off in the afternoon or evening UK time, which will limit some of the disruption that was experienced during previous World Cups. However, the impact will be more widespread amongst retailers, as staff regularly work later shifts, night shifts and weekends.

Many employees will disregard company policies and watch the matches that interest them. This results in increased absenteeism (both unauthorised and sickness), lateness and breaches of Internet usage and alcohol/drugs policies, all of which will impact productivity and the running of your business.

How to approach the World Cup

You are under no obligation to cater for your employees' interest in the tournament. You may not wish to accommodate football fans by allowing flexible time requests and further actions set out below. If this is the case, you should communicate this and your reasoning to staff. This may include the fact that you want to avoid distractions at work. In addition, you should emphasise, for example, a zero-tolerance approach to employees using the internet to watch games during working hours and the disciplinary procedures in place.

However, retailers who take a hard-line approach run the risk of creating resentment amongst staff that will impact employee morale,  productivity and, most importantly, customer service.

It is a major sporting event and it is worth considering how you can appease staff without affecting the running of your business. Being flexible can give you more control over your workforce, as well as lessening the number of absences and last minute holiday requests. Put simply, an employee is less likely to call in sick if they know they will be able to watch the big game. This can be used to boost morale, and in turn productivity.

Actions

There are a number of steps that you can consider to help employees enjoy the tournament, whilst ensuring your business is not disrupted. These include:

  • Shift swaps -  Not everyone is a football fan and should an employee find someone who is happy to swap shifts, this can be a simple way to ensure that staffing levels are maintained;
  • Leave – encourage employees to take days off as annual leave, or consider offering unpaid leave;
  • Flexible hours - alter start and finish times, where possible, to allow employees to watch games;
  • Screen games live – employees are less likely to be absent if they know they can watch games at work. This enables you to control the environment in which your employees watch games. This may not be practical for store staff or warehouse workers, however this can, in many cases be facilitated for office staff;
  • Set expectations – make it clear that you will not tolerate unauthorised absence, lateness, poor performance or any misuse of alcohol. Remind employees that it is unacceptable to call in sick in order to watch games, and that no employee should attend work whilst under the influence of alcohol;
  • Policies - remind employees of your policies (absence, IT usage, alcohol/drugs) and disciplinary procedures. Ensure that they are aware that abuse of these policies will not be tolerated and that disciplinary procedures will be maintained;
  • Communication – tell employees about your plans and set deadlines for leave and flexible working requests. This will allow you to plan ahead and enable you to manage staffing levels more efficiently; and
  • Impartial – be fair when responding to requests for time off and avoid favouritism. Ensure that you do not inadvertently discriminate against employees on the basis of nationality. Remember that not everyone is a football fan, so be careful not to marginalise these employees during the tournament. 

However, if you do not wish to encourage employees to get swept up in football fever, remember: 

  • if an employee calls in sick during the tournament,  check the TV listings for what matches are on during the period of absence and ask a number of questions about their symptoms and be sure to hold a return to work interview, which will act to discourage employees from being dishonest;
  • to be consistent and communicate reasons for not allowing requests for time off to follow the tournament; and
  • it is your decision and you should remind employees of the disciplinary consequences of breaching your policies. 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.