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Are your staff pulling a sickie to watch football?

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Watching the currently on-going European Championship is undeniably a favourite pastime for HongKongers.

All over the city, bars are packed with passionate football fans late into the night, even on working days.

Many professionals have reported to be going into office next day in a state of exhaustion, and in some cases, have called in sick after a late night out – a phenomenon which is, in fact, occurring worldwide.

In fact, the Clubline Football Blog has put together an infographic how to pull of the perfect sickie to watch football.



Employment law specialist ELAS also conducted a social media poll across Facebook and Twitter to ask workers in the UK if they would pull a sickie to watch their teams play during Euro 2016 – to which a significant 40% said yes.

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

In fact, Peter Mooney, head of consultancy at ELAS, said he expects employees to use the full range of excuses for not turning up at the office.

“Staff might not think that an unauthorised couple of hours in the pub watching a Euro match is going to harm their company, but when you add up the cost to British business of tens of thousands of workers behaving in this way it suddenly looks a whole lot more serious,” he said in a press release.

Beside workers not showing up, he also suggested bosses to be on the lookout for employees arriving at work hung-over after a late night out.

“While they might physically be present in the office, an employee who is hung-over won’t perform to the level expected. If they work in the driving or manufacturing industries, they could potentially be putting themselves and others at risk,” Mooney added.

Another study on the matter by Robert Half UK paints a even grimmer picture on staff not showing up at work to watch football.

The research found that 73% of HR directors in the UK expect the early morning excuse for skipping work the day after a major sporting event.  The percentage is only second in Europe compared to Germany where  79% of HR directors believe employees are likely to do so.

In Belgium, the figure falls to 69% and in the European Championship host nation, France, just 63% of bosses believe employees are likely to skip work the day after a big game.

Image: 123RF

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