Employment law specialist ELAS conducted a social media poll across Facebook and Twitter to ask Brits if theyd pull a sickie to watch their teams play during Euro 2016, to which a significant 40 per cent said yes.
And the appetite for skiving spiked slightly in Twitter, which saw 44 per cent of respondents say yes compared to 37 per cent on Facebook. As a result, theres a risk that the UK economy could be hit by a 269m cost in lost work productivity, according to ELAS, with absenteeism costing over 13bn annually.
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.
Mooney offered caution, however, as he said workers may end up abusing drugs and alcohol during an afternoon of watching matches at the pub.
“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,” he added.
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.