World Cup 2018: Employer Guidance

Helping employers deal with issues that may arise in the workplace as the World Cup takes place this summer

The FIFA World Cup 2018 takes place in Russia between Thursday 14 June and Sunday 15 July 2018.

World Cup kick-off times (British Summer Time (BST))

Kick-off times for the football matches vary with the first set of group phase fixtures taking place at 1pm, 4pm and 7pm (BST). The final round of the group games, second round and quarter-final matches take place at 3pm and 7pm (BST). As the matches are during the working day this may affect employers. Find full details of the FIFA World Cup 2018 kick-off times.

Some of the main issues which may affect both employees and employers are highlighted below.

Annual leave

A company’s annual leave policy should provide guidance on how to book time off.

Employers may wish to look at being more flexible when allowing employees leave during this period, with the understanding that this will be a temporary arrangement. See know how much holiday to give your staff.

Sickness absence

An organisation’s sickness policy will still apply during this time and this policy should be operated fairly and consistently for all staff. Levels of attendance should be monitored during this period in accordance with the company’s attendance policy.

Any unauthorised absence or patterns in absence could result in formal proceedings. See manage absence and sickness.

Flexible working

One option that may be agreeable would be to have a more flexible working day, when employees may come in later or finish earlier, and then agree when this time can be made up.

Employers may decide to allow staff to swap shifts with the manager’s permission or allow staff to take a break during match times. Any change in hours or flexibility in working hours should be approved before the event. However you should be aware that not all employees will be interested in watching the World Cup so any flexible working should be applied fairly and consistently to all staff. You must not discriminate. Read more on flexible working: the law and best practice.

Use of social media and websites

There may be an increase in the use of social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, or websites covering the event. Employers should have a clear policy regarding web and social media use in the workplace and it should be made known to all employees.

If employers are monitoring internet usage then the data protection regulations require them to make it clear that it is happening to all employees. A web and social media policy should make clear what is and what is not acceptable usage. Read more on managing employee use of social media.

Drinking or being under the influence at work

Some people may like to participate in a drink or two while watching a match or even may go to the pub to watch a match live.

It is important to remember that anyone found to be under the influence of alcohol in the workplace could be subject to disciplinary procedures. Read more on disciplinary procedures, hearings and appeals.

TV Licence

If you have a TV in the workplace and are thinking of showing World Cup matches or are allowing staff to access programmes on a computer or other device you may require a TV Licence. You could be fined up to £1,000 if you watch or record live TV without a TV Licence.