Lawyers warn over ‘World Cup sickness’

Employers could be breaking the law if they
change their sickness procedures to prevent employees taking time
off work to watch the World Cup, lawyers have warned.

firm Trowers & Hamlins said employees’ sickness entitlements
were usually part of the terms and conditions of workers’
employment contracts.

Demanding medical evidence for
shorter suspect absences or deterring employees from taking sick
days by depriving them of payment could be contractually contested
and lead to an unfair dismissal claim, the firm warned. It advised
employers to introduce a World Cup warning policy explaining how
any unauthorised absence would be handled.

such a policy, employers should ask for early notification of any
requests for time off to watch the football, allow staff to vary
their start times or lunch hours if they make up the time at a
later stage, but warn employees that they cannot simply not turn up
for work.


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