Can you be sacked for watching the World Cup at work?

The World Cup is finally here and is set to takeover our lives for the next month.

Thursday, 14th June 2018, 4:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:48 pm
Would you risk watching the World Cup at work?

For football fans around the globe the tournament will be the highlight of the year but plenty of the games, especially during the group stages, take place during the day when most of us are at work.

But if you are desperate to catch every single game during the World Cup you could try watching the matches at work.

However this runs the risk of you potentially getting in trouble at your job, if you are focusing on the football and not that report you were supposed to be writing.

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So we decided to check what your boss can or can’t do to you if you try to skip work to watch the games, or try to watch them in the office.

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Can you watch it at work?

Well you can always ask your boss if they will let you have the games on in the background if you have a TV in the office and if they are football fans they could agree to that plan!

You can also check your contract to see if your employer has put in a clause banning you from visting streaming sites on your works computer - as it could cause the internet to slow down or crash for the rest of the office.

If your love of football and the World Cup means you are willing to burn through your data, the games on BBC will be streaming live on iPlayer, so you could always resort to that, and just sneakily hide away your phone when your boss looks over.

Will you be sacked for watching World Cup at work?

The short answer is yes you can be, since you are not being paid to watch the games the company is paying you to work, surprisingly.

It probably depends on how much your boss likes you - or if they are watching the World Cup at work themselves!

If you are spending all day staring at the screen and watching the games instead of doing work you will probably face some kind of punishment, whether you are sacked or just discplined is down to your boss.

So if you don’t want to risk being axed or having your reputation ruined, its probably best not to watch the games at work.

What about pulling a sickie?

Well under employment law you don’t need to tell your boss why you are ill or give any specifics, if you are to phone in sick for the day.

You also don’t need a sick note from the doctor unless you have been off for more than seven days.

However it would quickly become obvious what you’ve been up to if you are suddenly ill everytime England play!

Why not use flexi-time?

If there is a game you are just dying to watch, like say Morocco vs. Iran, and it kicks off during the day, you could speak to your boss about flexi-time.

You could agree to start an hour or two earlier that day - at 7am instead of 9am say - and then finish early, while still doing a full days work.

Or if you had planned ahead you could have used up your holidays to book days off to watch specific games.