Euro 2016: Excuses employers can expect for staff absence during England vs Wales

Euro 2016 is underway and 2pm tomorrow will signal a face-off between England and Wales.

Wednesday, 15th June 2016, 4:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:13 pm

But given that it’s during the middle of the working day, UK employers should prepare for disappearing acts from football-mad workers and we’ve got the top ten excuses that are likely to be used.

Employment law specialist ELAS conducted a social media poll across Facebook and Twitter to ask Brits if they’d 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, there’s 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.”

The top ten excuses are:

(1) I’ve got food poisoning

(2) I’ve got flu

(3) I want to stay home and watch the football

(4) My dog is sick

(5) I’ve got a doctor’s/dentist appointment

(6) My washing machine flooded the house

(7) I’ve had an allergic reaction

(8) I need to go to a distant relative’s funeral

(9) My car broke down

(10) My child is sick

Any of those sound familiar?

Employees that take dishonest sickies – don’t get caught

The recruitment firm also found just 12 per cent of companies have arrangements in place for staff to watch Euro matches in the workplace.

“Euro 2016 is an exciting event for many football fans, however, with some of the group games scheduled to take place during work hours, it could become problematic for staff and employers alike,” said Lynn Cahillane, communications manager at

“To avoid any football-related absenteeism from now until 10 July, we encourage employers to be flexible. Employees keen to enjoy the games at work should come to an agreement with their line manager beforehand.”