As the England squad prepares its strategy for World Cup dominance, UK employers are being advised to make sure their own World Cup strategies are in place in time for today’s kick off.
A DLA Piper survey showed that 68% of respondents have offered no guidance to staff on acceptable workplace behaviour during the World Cup.
For example, three quarters (76%) have no plans to offer flexibility to staff who do not follow football.
However, more than half (51%) of UK employers are considering flexible working options for staff following the England team during the World Cup and 19% are allowing flexible options for non-England matches.
Other workplace strategies include: shift swapping (33%), early finishes (59%) and late starts (35%).
Tim Marshall, UK head of employment and partner at DLA Piper, said: “After what has been a really tough couple of years, a lot of UK businesses are seeing the World Cup as providing a bit of light relief and are offering flexibility as a way of boosting employee relations, as well as trying to mitigate the impact of unexpected absences in the workplace.
“Shift swapping and flexible hours are all great strategies, but business leaders need to consider the finer implications of their actions. By failing to offer staff who follow teams other than England the same opportunities for flexible working, employers are potentially opening themselves up to allegations of discrimination.
“Equally, by not offering flexible working patterns to staff that do not follow football at all, and expecting them to pick up their colleagues work, bosses could be undoing much of the goodwill they have tried to create.”
If you find yourself alone in the office at some points between 11 June and 11 July, you can probably bet on the fact that there is an England match on.
We expect that Fabio Capello has introduced clearer tactics and strategies for his team than many other managers in English organisations.
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