One in seven workers have called in sick to watch a football match, according to research by Croner consultancy.
About 13% of men, compared with just 4% of women, admitted to taking unauthorised absence to watch a football game, the YouGov poll of 2,191 workers showed.
Richard Smith, employment services director at Croner said he was surprised by the response.
“Absence management always features high on employers’ lists of concerns around major spectator events like Wimbledon, the Olympics, and of course the imminent World Cup,” he said.
“But we are advising our clients on how they can actually turn this to their advantage.”
Employers should consider allowing staff to watch matches at work and update their annual leave policies to include advice for employees on the procedure for taking time off for sporting events, Smith advised.
“Even though it’s likely that younger males will be first in line for holiday at this time, employers must ensure it is granted fairly, otherwise they could be guilty of sex discrimination,” he said.