Euro 2020 final – how to avoid unexpected absence

Euro 2020 absence

Last night’s celebrations at the progression of the England football team into the final of UEFA EURO 2020 will be nothing compared to the inevitable hysteria amongst the nation if the team are able to bring home the trophy on Sunday evening.

Employers may well have been cursing the ITV commentator who, in celebration, told watchers to call their boss and tell them they wouldn’t be coming into work the next day. Although meant in jest, it could be a prediction of employee behaviour after the final, whether England wins or loses.

Those who had the foresight to book appropriate days off in advance in the hope that England would be in the final know that they can party the night away, or weep into their hands – whatever the case may be – in the comfort of knowing they aren’t in work on Monday.

Others, though, may have been cautiously observing the success of the team through the stages before deciding whether to take the day off and, in doing so, have left it too late. So, England have made it to the final; how can employers guard against any the unknowns of employee attendance on Monday?

Employers may choose to embrace the positivity, look ahead and encourage people to book annual leave in advance rather than calling in sick after the match.

Consider the following:

  • Pull up the holiday planner to see how much more space there is for leave to be taken. Is there room left for more employees to take Monday off?
  • If not a full day, could you offer the morning off to anyone?
  • Check how busy you normally are on a Monday morning; is it predictable for you to be less busy than normal? High levels of annual leave across the country and potential reduced footfall may mean you’ll get less custom so you can be a bit more flexible with breaching your usual daily holiday cap.
  • Offer a flexi start on Monday morning; employees could come in later (set a deadline for the latest arrival) and then leave when their normal number of hours are done.
  • Free up more time off on Monday by offering enhanced rate overtime for those who won’t be watching the football
  • Have a casual clothes day
  • Provide a free hot drink and breakfast (in a COVID secure way)
  • Push back any Monday morning meetings to the afternoon, or Tuesday
  • Designate the first hour as ‘match analysis hour’ where employees still have to be in on time but you relax normal productivity rules and let them discuss the match.

Whatever your plans, make sure employees know about them. They might not ask to book Monday off because they assume the answer will be no.

If you do get a call on Monday morning from an employee telling you they won’t be in, don’t assume that someone is taking a sickie. There will, of course, be genuine sickness absences the day after the big match. If they have genuine cause to think the sickness absence is not genuine, you can investigate and potentially even take disciplinary action.