Warning to firms over staff football ‘sickies’

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LAW firm Blake Morgan has warned employers to ensure they have policies in place to manage staff who decide to ‘pull sickies’ to watch England matches.

Tim Forer, a partner at the firm’s Portsmouth and Southampton offices, warns the tournament, which begins on June 10, could lead to disruption for businesses.

Big sporting tournaments often lead to more staff than usual trying to book time off – and those who are refused could be tempted to call in sick. A number of games during the month-long championship will be played during working hours and, crucially, the match between England and Wales takes place on Thursday, June 16 with a 2pm kick-off.

Mr Forer said: ‘Unfortunately, sickness absence in the workplace often increases when large sporting events are televised during working hours.

‘Employees with only minor illnesses may be more inclined to stay at home to watch TV coverage, or it might be an employee who has not been granted the annual leave they requested.

‘You will need to carefully manage such situations and treat them in the same way as any other situation when there is doubt over the genuineness of the sickness. You will need to carry out a full and thorough investigation before commencing formal disciplinary proceedings.’