Time Off for World Cup Games?

David Reid
15th Jun 2010

On 11 June, the World Cup kicked off in South Africa and will continue until 11 July 2010. Recent surveys have shown that 1 in 10 employees will take sick leave from work to watch matches during the World Cup.

Employment law UK football


1 in 20 employees have already booked annual leave to watch World Cup matches. The TUC has recently called for employers to introduce flexible working patterns which will allow employees to watch key games. 

The only England group stage game that kicks off during normal business hours is their final group match against Slovenia on 23 June. However, with games during the group stages having a starting time of 12.30 pm, 3pm, or 7.30pm, supporters of other nations may wish to watch games during normal business hours.

In addition, the World Cup will no doubt result in an increase in the consumption of alcohol across the country and accordingly, even if employees are not taking time off work to actually watch games, they may call in sick the following day or even report for work under the influence of alcohol.

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