Absence Management Helpine
31st May 2016

Prepare For A Spike In Absenteeism During This Summer’s Sport

Statistics show that major sporting events can cause a rise of more than 20% in absenteeism. With the 2016 European Football Championships just 10 days away, and most of the home nations having qualified, what is your company doing to combat this?

Bosses across the UK are bracing themselves for a serious staff absenteeism issue and expected slump in productivity, caused by football fans claiming bogus sick days or inventing non-existent meetings. Absenteeism is expected to spike on June 16th when England play Wales at 2pm.

Peter Mooney, Head of Consultancy at ELAS, said “Most companies quite rightly take the view that business must come first, particularly in the current economic climate, which means that someone hell bent on watching as many matches as possible will have to find a reason for not being at work. Some bosses will do a deal with their employees allowing them to leave a little bit earlier, but only if they are willing to start work a little bit earlier on another day.”

Absenteeism is said to cost British industry more than £13bn annually.

Mr Mooney said he expects employees to use the full range of excuses for not turning up at the office or failing to return after lunch.

He added: “Staff might not think that an unauthorised couple of hours in the pub watching a Euro match is going to harm their company, but when you add up the cost to British business of tens of thousands of workers behaving in this way it suddenly looks a whole lot more serious.”

As well as a spike in absenteeism, companies are also on the lookout for employees arriving at work hungover the day after a match, causing their productivity to slip. Peter says: “While they might physically be present in the office, an employee who is hungover won’t perform to the level expected. If they work in the driving or manufacturing industries, they could potentially be putting themselves and others at risk. Businesses should have well-communicated policies in place covering both absenteeism and drugs/alcohol abuse. In these days of modern testing techniques and clear, enforceable guidelines there is no reason employees should feel they can get away with such practices.”

In order to help your business perform to its peak during the Euros, we have put together our top tips to survive the tournament:

  • Remind staff about your policy on absenteeism
  • Consider flexible working as a solution to potential absenteeism
  • Keep an eye on productivity
  • Consider using software such as our Absence Assist, which has been proven to reduce absence rates by around 62%.

For more information on Absence Assist, or any of the other options we offer for monitoring and reducing absenteeism, call our specialists at 0161 785 2000.


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