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Expert warns that pulling a sickie for the World Cup could cost you your job

Joe Harker

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Expert warns that pulling a sickie for the World Cup could cost you your job

With the World Cup coming up the temptation to pull a sickie and take a day off work to watch the football has got to be strong for many.

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It'll be especially tempting for England and Wales fans hoping to catch their nations playing against Iran in the group stages of the World Cup.

For England fans, it's their opening fixture of the tournament and is being played at 1pm on 21 November, also known as next Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Wales fans wanting to see their team at their first World Cup since 1958 have got to contend with a 10am kick off on Friday 25 November if they don't want to miss out on all the football.

Most people are going to be at work at those times and while some places might let you stick the footie on, for many it'll be a case of missing the match.

With that in mind, the temptation for pulling a sickie to get off work and watch the football could be strong, but experts have warned that it'd be a really bad idea that could get you sacked.

England's opening game of the World Cup is on at 1pm on Monday (21 November), but don't pull a sickie to watch it. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
England's opening game of the World Cup is on at 1pm on Monday (21 November), but don't pull a sickie to watch it. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Andrew Knorpel, consultant solicitor in employment law at Richard Nelson LLP, warned that anyone trying to take the day off risked losing their job and was better off trying to work something out with their boss.

He said: "With England having come agonisingly close to winning the European Championships last year, the anticipation around the World Cup will only grow in the coming week.

"Due to the time difference many of the games are being played during working hours. While many England fans may be worried about missing the team's first group stage match, we’d encourage them to have an open discussion with their employers about their working arrangements for that day. "

"Where possible many companies may be able to offer an extended lunch break or even remote working for the afternoon and this is something we’d encourage."

Knorpel went on to explain that anyone really dedicated to getting out of work to watch the World Cup 'should consider taking annual leave' and take time off properly rather than trying to pretend they were sick for a day.

Faking illness to get off work could amount to 'gross misconduct' and leave you out of a job permanently.

Wales fans won't want to miss their first World Cup since 1958, but many will be at work for one of their matches. Credit: Football Association of Wales / Alamy Stock Photo
Wales fans won't want to miss their first World Cup since 1958, but many will be at work for one of their matches. Credit: Football Association of Wales / Alamy Stock Photo

And if your boss thinks something is suspicious then you could be in big trouble, with Knorpel pointing out that they can investigate if they think your reason for being off work doesn't hold up.

He explained: "If an employer thinks their employee has called in sick and it is not genuine, they can investigate the case and take disciplinary action over unauthorised absence."

If you really are hell bent on pulling a sickie, then at least don't end up like the woman who got spotted on TV at Wembley cheering on England's Euro 2020 semi final victory over Denmark after telling her boss she was ill.

She told the Daily Telegraph that she'd 'do it all over again' despite having 'mixed emotions' over getting fired.

If you do have to work through the World Cup and miss some games, at least spare a thought for the poor souls who are spending an absolute fortune to live in a metal box in the middle of the desert and will have to fork over as much as £80 for a pint while in Qatar.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: News, UK News, Sport, Football, World Cup

Joe Harker
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