The build-up to this year’s World Cup, which kicks off tomorrow, has lacked a few of the regular features of the football extravaganza. The official England team song appears to have been abandoned, as does the country’s (usually misplaced) swagger about the team’s chances.
However one tradition is safe: the topical press release from employment lawyers with advice for ensuring that staff are kept happy during the month-long tournament.
This year matters are a little easier, with each England group game falling either in the evening or at the weekend.
But such advantages raise the side-effect that fans may come into work the following morning nursing a little more than simply regret at a goalless draw with Tunisia. Paman Singh, employment solicitor at Scottish firm Law at Work, tells the Gazette: ‘Businesses need to be aware that some employees may still be under the influence of alcohol at work after a game. This raises not only a serious health and safety concern, but can also severely affect productivity.’
While England do not have any weekday lunchtime kick-offs, many other teams do – and south England firm Biscoes warns of pitfalls for anyone allowing the odd extended lunch break. ‘You must ensure you take a consistent approach to such arrangements: for example, they must not discriminate against employees who support a team other than England, and should not have an adverse effect on staff who do not follow football.’
Obiter reckons that international firm Dentons has more invested in this World Cup than most. By our calculations, the firm’s expansion drive means it has offices in 21 of the 32 nations competing - including the opening fixture Russia vs Saudi Arabia. It’s likely that some part of the firm will be celebrating on 15 July.
As will all those who cannot stand the whole thing.