Euro 2016: Employers urged to let employees enjoy football tournament, new research finds

James Nickerson
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The tournament will cause the most unauthorised leave in 2016 (Source: Getty)

Employers should allow their employees to enjoy the European Championship in order to avoid absenteeism, new research has found.

Research from Kronos found the tournament is set to be the biggest cause of unauthorised leave in the UK during 2016, with more than a third of employees (35 per cent) having anticipated that the spectacle would cause more absenteeism than Wimbledon and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics combined.

“This summer’s sporting events will pose a real challenge to the ways in which organisations handle absenteeism. The key to success lies in open communication with employees and forward planning,” said Neil Pickering, industry and customer insight manager at Kronos.

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“When managers know that absences are more likely to occur they should acknowledge the events and speak with employees to determine who is likely to be off as a consequence. With this information, managers can schedule staff accordingly to mitigate any disruption to customers, fellow colleagues, and the organisation.”

The research added that nearly three quarters (77 per cent) of employees think their colleagues have “thrown a sickie” in the last year and nearly one in five (18 per cent) think fellow workers take up to six fake sick days a year.

“Demonstrating willingness to accommodate employee needs, and allowing them to enjoy these sporting events and their leisure time goes a long way to improving employee engagement and ultimately results in higher levels of productivity and performance,” Pickering added.

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“With the appropriate advanced workforce scheduling tools, organisations can actually use these events to their advantage.”

More widely, employers should embrace certain practices to reduce absenteeism. Flexibility, for example, is work perk most appreciated and requested by employees (41 percent).

This is also identified as one of the main reasons for absenteeism, with nearly one in five (19 percent) citing lack of flexibility as the reason they take a full day off rather than arrive at work later or leave earlier.