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Flexible working – the World Cup

Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) is advising employers to be ready for the World Cup. Some employees will be expecting their employers to be flexible about working hours so that they can watch matches. Employers may also be worrying about their employees being less productive, hung over or sick following over enthusiastic celebrations.

The World Cup kicks off in South Africa on 11 June 2010 and employers need to plan ahead to try and keep everyone happy. As matches are due to kick off at 12.30, 15.00 and 19.30 (UK time) employers will need to plan ahead to ensure they have a clear and consistent policy for those wanting to watch matches.

Acas advice as detailed on their website is that employers should try to be:

  • “Flexible, where possible – for example, by altering start and finish times during the working day or allowing longer lunch breaks
  • Clear about what you expect from employees – in terms of attendance and performance during the World Cup. Managing employees’ expectations of what might be possible is key to keeping them onside
  • Communicative – start talking to each other now about the World Cup and how you hope to manage leave and working hours
  • Honest – if you cannot accommodate any changes to your work practices then say so. Also, you may need to remind employees that any special arrangements for watching matches are only temporary
  • Fair – you need to be seen to be fair about the way you respond to requests for time off and avoid favouritism”.

Further advice is available on the Acas website

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