Acas has released guidance for employers ahead of the Lionesses semi-final against Australia today (16 August).
Kick off is at 11am UK time, which will be during working hours for many workplaces.
Acas advises employers and small businesses to plan ahead of key matches and have agreements in place that cover requests for time off and sickness absence.
Acas chief executive, Susan Clews, said employers should set boundaries to make sure sports fans do not cause disruption at work.
She said: “The Women’s World Cup is an exciting event for many football fans, but staff should avoid getting a red card for unreasonable demands or behaviour in the workplace during this period.
“For many businesses, maintaining a certain staffing level is critical in order to survive. Employers should have a set of simple workplace agreements in place before kick-off to help ensure their businesses remain productive whilst keeping staff on side too.
“Our top tips can help managers get the best from their team players, arrange appropriate substitutions if necessary and avoid unnecessary penalties or unplanned sendings-off.”
They also advised policies on non-work related internet use during working hours, as well as listening to the radio or watching TV during the Women’s World Cup tournament period.
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The Acas guidance said employers should try and be slightly more flexible when allowing employees time off during this period and employees should remember that it may not always be possible to book a holiday.
They also emphasised that a consistent approach should be applied for holiday requests for other major sporting events too as not everyone likes football.
The guidance said employers may want to remind staff that their sickness and attendance policies will still apply during the Women’s World Cup.
Any unauthorised absence, patterns of absence or late attendance are likely to be investigated and could result in formal proceedings.
Acas encouraged management to give staff more flexibility during the world cup, either in terms of working hours or by allowing staff to watch the TV or take breaks during match time.
Use of social media and websites
There may be an increase in the use of social media or websites covering the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Employers may wish to remind staff of any policies regarding the use of social media and websites during working hours.