Last year businesses had to deal with workplace absence that cost a staggering £17 billion and £2.7 billion of this was thanks to employees pulling ‘sickies’. This year, employers will get a double helping of problems as a result of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the unusual sporting season. Sickies are expected to rise by up to 20%. The focus will be on the Olympics, however, major football events such as the European Championships being held from 8th June to 1st July, tend to cause more headache induced sickies and issues around people wanting to watch, celebrate or commiserate their country’s participation. The HR Dept comments “where there have been major football finals in the past, we have tended to see more calls to our advice line about employees not showing up to work the next day after a particularly good or bad result. The rise of video streaming and social media also mean that there are more opportunities for workers to sneak a look at games or results when they should be working. Communicating your expectations to all staff straight away is really important”.
Employers need to get to grips with managing holiday requests, setting out how unauthorised absences and misusing the internet at work to live stream the games will be dealt with. So employees are not left snowed under, consider how many employees can have time off at the same time. Employers are likely to have an abundance of requests for particular days so considering how these will be managed is crucial.
No one can ignore the widespread interest in the impending events.
Here are some tips for employers dealing with absence problems during this period:
Use your normal holiday procedures when dealing with requests for time off.
Be fair and consistent to everyone.
Make clear the consequences if someone does pull a sickie.
Have a clear IT policy which covers all aspects of internet usage during working hours.
Respect that not everyone is interested in football.
Respect not everyone will support the same team.