Experts are predicting a record number of people will call in sick after millions of fans tuned in to the Uefa Euro 2020 final last night to watch England play Italy.
With many facing a dilemma as to how much they should “enjoy” the game, employers had been urged to let them work flexibly to avoid an influx of absences.
Quite apart from calls on Boris Johnson to declare a bank holiday should England have won, few bosses will be surprised if they are a few people short on the day.
“We are expecting to see an increase in sick days on Monday,” said Jayne Harrison, Head of Employment Law at Richard Nelson LLP.
But she warned: “If an employer thinks their employee has called in sick and is not genuine, they can investigate and even take disciplinary action over unauthorised absence. The employer would have to prove this and should be careful not to jump to conclusions.”
We are expecting to see a large number of employers offer their employees the opportunity to take the whole day off
“Employers should check the absence history of their employee, perhaps assess whether others have seen them out as part of a celebration or if they have posted on their social media channels. However, employers should consider carefully if they wish to take any accusations further.”
With many employees still working from home because of the pandemic, it could mean companies are more open to flexible working hours than in previous years.
Jayne added, “While employees can make a request to work flexibly on Monday, there is no right to flexible working in the UK currently. We are expecting to see a large number of employers offer their employees the opportunity to take the whole day off, or work a half day.
Julie Lock, Commercial Director at the “time and attendance solution” firm Mitrefinch said: “Our research has shown employees in the UK take the fourth lowest number of sick days in Europe, at just 4.4 days a year, and we are predicting Monday to be a record.
“Workplace absences can place a strain on other members of staff who have to pick up their workload, but being too harsh on staff who call in sick can damage loyalty to the company.
“To avoid an influx of absences on Monday, employers could consider talking to their employees ahead of Sunday and allowing them to start later on Monday, depending on working hours”
My VIP Card, conducted a survey of employers and found that 41 per cent had agreed to a late start, 16 per cent a half day and 22 per cent the day off. Many others agreed to buy their teams breakfast.
CEO Maddy Alexander-Grout said she was giving her staff the day off, adding: “It’s a once in a lifetime event or at least every 55 years!”
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