Rugby World Cup 2011 - issues for employers

The Rugby World Cup 2011 starts in New Zealand on Friday 9 September. The time difference means that matches will take place in the mornings, UK time. Employers may face issues around absenteeism or distracted employees following the matches while at work. As most of the matches are scheduled at the weekends, this is most likely to affect those employers that operate seven days a week. 

Having a clear policy to deal with employee conduct during popular sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup can help employers avoid unauthorised absences and minimise disruption in the workplace. XpertHR provides a model policy that employers can use to set out their rules and guidance for all staff on what is expected and what concessions may be granted when a sporting or other special event is taking place. 


The following employers' questions on sporting events are among those answered in the XpertHR FAQs section:

Some employers may notice an increase in absenteeism during the World Cup as employees take unauthorised time off to watch key matches, possibly reporting their absence as sickness. XpertHR provides resources to help employers manage short-term absence problems, for example:

Other disciplinary issues that could arise as a result of employees' interest in the Rugby World Cup include alcohol misuse or employees following matches on the internet when they should be working. By adopting a model Alcohol and substance abuse policy and procedure and an E-mail and internet policy for employees, employers can make their position clear on what is expected of employees and what kind of behaviour will be treated as misconduct. 

2010 sporting policy survey: employers prepare for World Cup Research among 100 employers in relation to the Football World Cup in 2010 highlights options for allowing employees to follow the tournament and finds that employers believe that such plans will have a positive effect overall on business. Employers may choose to take a similar approach to the upcoming Rugby World Cup.