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Record rate of 'sickies' as workers take time out to watch the World Cup, employers claim

Record rate of 'sickies' as workers take time out to watch the World Cup, employers claim

The great British dormitory! Record rate of ‘sick’ as workers take time to watch World Cup, employers say

  • Workers launch ‘sick’ at record pace to watch World Cup matches
  • Law firm says it has seen a 250% increase in inquiries from bosses
  • A YouGov poll found that 11 million employees could take a day off during the tournament

Football-mad workers have been throwing ‘sick people’ at a record pace so they can watch World Cup games, employers claim.

Businesses flocked to legal advisers as staff feared taking rogue days off.

A law firm said it had seen a 250% increase in inquiries from bosses about their legal status if they suspected employees were running away.

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Clough & Willis Solicitors’ Chris Macwilliam said the number of calls had increased following England’s 6-2 win over Iran on Monday.

A YouGov poll has revealed that 11 million employees could take a dodgy day off during the Qatar World Cup.

Mr. Macwilliam, whose company operates agents in Bury and Bolton, Grtr. Manchester, said he didn’t want to be a ‘pooper’ and hoped England would ‘take him home’.

But he added that businesses across all industries faced “massive challenges” and that unauthorized absences were a “real problem” that could affect their bottom line.

He said: “Companies in all sectors are facing enormous challenges, so maintaining good productivity is essential.

“Nobody wants to be a party pooper, but losing days due to unauthorized absences is a real problem that can affect results.

“We all want England to bring him home, but some companies fear England’s success will cost them financially.

“Our advice to employers is generally that false sickness claims (if proven) can constitute serious misconduct, so they should speak openly to their teams as good communication is key.

“If it’s feasible, it might also be worth companies considering some kind of flexible working structure for the days England are playing.”

“Football is supposed to bring us together after all and we need it more than ever.”

And Andrew Knorpel, of law firm Richard Nelson LLP, earlier warned staff he could be fired if he did not tell bosses they had stopped working to watch games.

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He said: “With England coming close to winning the European Championships last year, the anticipation around the World Cup will only grow in the week ahead.”

“Due to jet lag, many games are played during working hours.

“Although many England fans are worried about missing the team’s first group stage match, we encourage them to have an open discussion with their employers about their working arrangements that day.”

“Employees should consider taking annual leave rather than resorting to illness.

“If an employer thinks their employee called in sick and it’s not genuine, they can investigate the matter and take disciplinary action for the unauthorized absence.”

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