Clough & Willis sees 250% surge in enquiries about bogus sick days following yesterday’s World Cup kick off
Bury and Bolton-based law firm Clough & Willis has seen a massive 250% increase in North West companies calling its Employers Advantage HR service in the last 24 hours enquiring about what they can do if they suspect their employees are taking bogus sick days during the World Cup.
The firm said it had received calls from business right across the region with the same concern that employees had ditched work without permission to watch England’s inaugural match against Iran which took place yesterday.
Clough & Willis set up Employer's Advantage as an employment law and HR service that can be tailored to the size and needs of any business. It can act as a legal resource for HR professionals and senior managers/business owners. Whilst for smaller businesses, it can operate as their dedicated Human Resources department by guiding them through the complexities of people management without having to employ their own costly HR Manager.
The main concerns cited were around how to approach employees who were suspected of skiving and what companies could do to mitigate, or at least warn their teams off, taking bogus sick days over the next few weeks.
Chris Macwilliam – Partner and Head of Employment at Clough & Willis – said: “Businesses in all sectors are facing massive challenges so maintaining good productivity is essential. No one wants to be a killjoy but losing days to unauthorised absences is a real issue that can affect the bottom line. We all want England to bring it home but there are some firms out there who are worried that England’s success might cost them financially.
Chris added: “Our advice to employers is broadly that bogus sickness claims (if proven) can amount to gross misconduct but they should speak openly to their teams as good communication is key. If it’s feasible, it might also be worth companies considering some kind of flexible working structure for the days that England play. Football is supposed to bring us together after all and we need that now more than ever.”