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CIPD offers help for employers faced with employee absence during the World Cup

The CIPD has launched guidelines for employers to minimise problems caused by staff absence during the World Cup tournament, starting next month.

Nine out of 10 employers have no plans in place to help manage staff absence during the forthcoming World Cup, according to a poll by the CIPD.

The poll of more than 1,000 employers shows that almost all (90%) of organisations have not developed a policy to manage staff absence during the World Cup. Just 5% have developed a policy while a further 5% are currently developing one.

In view of these results, the CIPD has produced a guide for employers - The World Cup and Absence Management. The guidance suggests different approaches that employers can consider to help employees enjoy the matches that are important to them without compromising the needs of the business. These may include flexible working  hours, shift swaps, unpaid leave and special screening of matches on premises

The guide also advises employers to make organisational policy clear on absence, whether alcohol-related or not. Employers should make clear to workers that there are disciplinary consequences for taking unauthorised time off without good reason or for not performing satisfactorily or misbehaving at work.

The CIPD suggests employers should encourage workers to use annual leave, particularly to discourage general absenteeism and poor performance through over-indulging in alcohol.

CIPD adviser John McGurk said: "It's alarming that only 10% of employers are drafting or already have guidance in place to manage absence during the World Cup. Research suggests that when employers demonstrate they care about their staff and their interests outside of work, employees are more likely to go the extra mile for the organisation. Whatever individual organisations decide is right for their employees, guidance should be clear and communicated well."