Manchester based employment law consultancy, Peninsula has been inundated with calls to their advice service from employers who have seen a sharp rise in the level of employee absenteeism following the start of the Rugby World Cup. Over the opening weekend, Peninsula received 692 calls from stressed and anxious employers who wanted to discuss their rights regarding employee absenteeism and how they could prevent this from re-occurring over the duration of the Rugby World Cup. Alan Price, Employment Law Director of Peninsula said today “There is no avoiding the Rugby World Cup, it’s everywhere, taking over TV, radio and all other forms of media. Large scale sporting event such as this regularly cause havoc for employers, as sports fanatic members of staff flock to watch the event in any way possible. Unfortunately, this often leads to employees calling in sick, forgoing their obligations to their place of work.” “It’s almost as though the Rugby World Cup has cast a spell over rugby fans, causing everyday life to stand still, consequently resulting in employees forgetting that they have an obligation to their employers and the company they work for.” Price adds “Generally we advise employers that prevention is the best tactic when it comes to reducing employee absenteeism during major sporting events, by ensuring that they have implemented an up-to-date policy regarding expected employee conduct and behaviour during these events. However, despite your best intentions and efforts to deter absence, sometimes even the best laid plans can fall a-rye and employers face an unwelcomed increase in sickness absences.” “The fact that we have received nearly 700 calls from employers during the opening weekend of the Rugby World Cup is quite alarming, particularly as this event is due to run for nearly two months. It is rather nerve wracking for employers, as this could be something that could continue to escalate.” Price continues “Employers who are actively seeking advice on how to deal effectively with employee absences during the opening stages of this event demonstrates that they are as concerned as I am about this issue snowballing , but taking steps to resolve this is the best course of action employers can take.” “Our expert advice team at Peninsula are on hand 24 hours a day to provide tailored advice to any employer or manager who isn’t sure on the correct procedures to follow when dealing with employee absence issues. It is always better to be safe than sorry with HR issues, to prevent the unnecessary legal implications, which can easily be avoided with the right action plan in place.” Price concludes “I would urge any employer who is struggling with employee absenteeism issues in accordance with the Rugby World Cup and who hasn’t devised an appropriate plan of action already, to do so with immediate effect. You are clearly not alone in this situation, and asking for help now in these early stages will help you to maintain the efficiency and productivity of your business moving forward.” If you require any advice on how to deal with absenteeism during the world cup, call us now on 0800 028 2420 or fill in the enquiry form below.