Get In Touch: 01270 781006

Football’s coming home, employees are staying home?

Written by Jennifer Ormond

July 8, 2021

After a remarkable win from England in the semi-finals of the European Championships last night, we can only predict the feeling of the nation as we step into the final this Sunday, 11 July. However, we understand that this following Monday can be daunting for employers, with several questions they might have on their mind from: What do I do if my staff call in sick? To: What do I do if my staff turn up still drunk?

What do I do if I think my employee is still drunk? 

This Sunday’s match starts at 8 pm, with the potential of a later finish than a usual 90-minute match due to possible extra time and penalties. The match has a projection of finishing as late as 11 pm. This means that if your employee has to start work at 7:30 am, but doesn’t stop drinking until midnight, they would be deemed as unfit to drive to work the next morning. 

It takes approximately just under one hour for each unit of alcohol to leave your body according to and with an average of 3 units per pint of lager and a standard glass of wine at 2.1 units. This calculates that if you were to drink 4 pints of lager it would take around 10.5 – 12 hours for the alcohol to leave your system. 

A selection of alcoholic drinks

This should be regarded as a serious matter. You should be clear to your staff at the outset of the tournament that you will be monitoring absences and that absence on relevant match days may be regarded with suspicion. Where an employee is intoxicated or hungover to the extent that they cannot work, you can send them home from work.  Speak to us to determine any implications on their pay.

Employee Absence

Employee absences 

 If the employee has an otherwise clean absence record, it would be worth considering carefully how absence for one day following the England game should best be managed. For example, it may be in the best interests of staff morale to deal with any such incident of absence in an informal manner and meet with the employee to reiterate the high standards of attendance expected of them. For an absence of 7 days or less, an employee is not required to provide a Fit Note from their GP, providing evidence of their illness, and can instead self-certify the reason for absence. 

Whilst you may have a reasonable suspicion that an employee who calls in sick the day after a once in a generation event like England reaching a major final is perhaps being untruthful, and could initiate the alcohol policy in the employee handbook, it is worth asking whether this is proportionate, especially given the year many people have had with Covid-19. Instead, you might wish to think about offering some of the incentives below as a means of encouraging staff to attend work and boost morale.

It is also important to be consistent in how you treat employees who call in sick on Monday morning in order to avoid treating some with greater suspicion than others. For example, you should not assume that a woman who calls in sick is genuinely ill, whilst, depending on the outcome,  their male colleague has the football buzz or blues. Instead, if you are concerned about your employee’s absence, you should meet with them and reiterate your standards.

Absence Management Policy 

The situation could differ where an employee has a history of absence following Euros football matches. In this case, if their absences have exceeded the number allowed in your Absence Management Policy, you should proceed with an Absence Management Meeting in order to ascertain the true nature of the employee’s absence. Where you have a reasonable suspicion that an employee has been consistently untruthful when giving the reason for their absence, you should follow the disciplinary procedure and obtain further advice on how to proceed.  

Incentives to avoid staff absences 

England reaching the semi-finals, never mind getting to the Euro’s final is a momentous occasion for any football fan and wdoughnutse understand the importance of viewing the game on Sunday. For employers, this is a time to boost staff morale and come together after 16 months of a global pandemic.

This is a great opportunity for employers to give a discretionary incentive to staff to avoid sick days on Monday. This could be done by; offering a free breakfast sandwich on Monday morning or allowing staff to come in an hour later than their usual start time. By allowing some leniency with your staff it allows you to show trust in your employees.

Employment Law Solutions

Employment Law Solutions can help. We are an employment law service offering employment law advice for employers. 

With a wealth of knowledge in curing HR headaches for employers across the UK, Employment Law Solutions can offer

 comprehensive, stress-free, and pragmatic advice on employment law, including restrictive covenants, post-termination restrictions, and furlough. We offer 24/7, 365 guidance with a mission to help you get on with doing what you do best – running your business. Protecting your business will always be our main priority. 


Welcoming a 4-day working week

How would you feel about a 4-day working week? Allowing your employees to finish on a Thursday, enjoy a 3 day weekend, whilst still paying their same rate of pay? In this article, we discuss the pros and cons, plus alternatives. Does a 4 day work week only really work...

FRA: Halloween HR Headaches

Autumn has arrived!  Farm and retail shops are busy preparing for Halloween and pumpkin season.  The ever-growing popularity of ‘experiences’ means that it is a great opportunity to increase footfall.  Although retailers are likely to focus on their attractions,...

An employer’s guide to furlough ending

We would be lying to you if we said this was the first blog we had written on furlough ending. On 20 March 2020, the government officially announced the new scheme in the midst of the pandemic and the scheme has been extended four times, causing much confusion. The...

Face masks in the workplace

Following the Government’s decision to remove all restrictions, possibly the most contentious is whether or not to continue wearing a face mask.  Can employers force employees to wear them at work? There is no legal obligation to require facemasks to be worn at work. ...

An employer’s guide to it’s employees being vaccinated

On 11 November 2021 all care home workers in England MUST be vaccinated.  In addition, care home providers must ensure that nobody enters the home unless they fall into one of the exceptions of:-       Being a care home resident       Being a friend or relative of a...

An employer’s guide to the National Minimum Wage

 In this article we will look at everything an employer needs to know on national minimum wage, such as: the penalties to pay if not employees are not paid correctly; the difference between national living wage and dealing with complaints about wages. The National...

Hybrid Working: Most frequently asked questions

Hybrid working is a hot topic for businesses at the moment!  You can read more about what hybrid working entails here.  Many employers are facing the same questions and dilemmas about hybrid working so we have broken down our top 10 frequently asked questions. Hybrid...

Hybrid working: Is hybrid working the future?

What is Hybrid Working? Hybrid working sometimes referred to as ‘blended working’, is a type of flexible working that allows employees to split their time between a traditional office and home working.  The rise of hybrid working Due to Covid-19 many employees...

Confirmed- No jab-no job for care workers in England!

No jab, no job confirmed... What is next for employers who have staff refusing to be vaccinated? STEP 1. Download the free jab reminder letter below to inform all staff that it is now a legal requirement for them to receive a Covid vaccine.   Inform all staff that it...

An employers guide to Monday 19 July

England will end all lockdown rules on Monday 19 July, following the Prime Ministers' announcement on Monday 12 July. This means lifting of the instruction to work from home to no legal requirements to wear a face mask. These new changes will not only impact...

3 + 5 =

You May Also Like…

Welcoming a 4-day working week

Welcoming a 4-day working week

How would you feel about a 4-day working week? Allowing your employees to finish on a Thursday, enjoy a 3 day weekend,...

Face masks in the workplace

Face masks in the workplace

Following the Government’s decision to remove all restrictions, possibly the most contentious is whether or not to...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *