Employers cautioned to play ball with absent workers

Call goes out for bosses and employees to co-operate to ensure staff and firms get result

The Republic of Ireland’s first Euro 16 match against Sweden kicks off at 5pm when thousands of Irish employees will still be at work. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The Republic of Ireland’s first Euro 16 match against Sweden kicks off at 5pm when thousands of Irish employees will still be at work. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Employers have been warned of increased absenteeism from work during Euro 2016 and are being advised to take a “pragmatic appraoch” when dealing with staff with a keen interest in soccer.

The Republic of Ireland’s first Euro 16 match against Sweden kicks off at 5pm when thousands of Irish employees will still be at work.

However Thomas Burke of Retail Ireland has called on employees and employers to work together to ensure both staff and businesses win.

Among the ideas he floated was for employers to permit staff to either watch matches on televisions or at least allow them to listen to it on radio.

“Employers should be pragmatic when it comes to managing their staff at a time like this. Obviously there will be a great many people who will want to watch the football and obviously when Ireland do well there is a feelgood factor which can see all businesses benefit,” he said.

“But there also has to be a sense of realism too,” he added. “Jobs will still have to be done and not everyone is interested in football. Shops have to stay open and have to be in a position to serve all their potential customers.

Boost

“If things were left slide in terms of customer service and opening house because the football was on the television then I don’t think that would be good for anyone in the long term,” Mr Burke said.

Director of the Small Firm’s Association Patricia Callan said Euro 2016 will give a major social and economic boost to the country. She said that on a social level “the country can look forward to recapturing the spirit of previous international soccer competitions”. However she warned of a “threat of increased absenteeism from work.”

“It is imperative for companies to put in place a plan to deal with potential absenteeism,” the association said. “Euro 2016 has a broad following and as well as Irish fans, there are significant numbers of non-Irish workers in the country, who will be following their home teams,” it said.