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Q: We’ve already had one guy take time off “sick” when we know full well he was at the gym watching the football match between England and Sweden as he was seen by the wife of one of our Directors. Is there anything we can do about this? A: With Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in the very near future, we recommend employers consider the following:
  • Flexibility in working hours giving employees the opportunity to make up the hours lost at another time
  • Placing television screens in the workplace so that employees of any nationality can watch their nation during working time and make up the time lost at another time (remember you will need a TV Licence)
  • Granting annual leave on a first come first served basis
  • Allowing employees to make arrangements between themselves to swap shifts with those who are not interested in watching a match or event
Remind employees that absence without approval will be deemed to be unauthorised absence which may result in disciplinary action. However, in this particular situation where the employee has claimed they were sick when they were seen watching an England game, then a meeting should be held with the employee to investigate the situation. Tell them that they were seen at XYZ Gym watching the match when they had claimed they were too sick to come to work and see what they have to say. Then, depending upon their response, make a decision as to whether to arrange a disciplinary hearing or not and follow the Company’s disciplinary procedure.

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