Pulling A Sickie: World Cup absences will cost UK businesses more than £13bn
New research has uncovered the amount of time football fans in the UK will take off work to watch the World Cup and have estimated how much this will cost businesses, with the sum amounting to more than £13bn. What’s more, it was found that the average football fan will take seven days off work during the World Cup with more than half of these being ‘unauthorised’.
With the World Cup just around the corner, new research has looked into how much time football fans in the UK plan to take off work and how much this costs the economy. It also uncovered that 41% of those taking part in the study have been ‘told off’ for taking time off work to watch football.
The team behind Football Tips carried out the study and polled 2,203 UK-based adults aged 18 and over, all of whom revealed that they followed football and were planning to watch the World Cup in Russia.
Initially, all participants were asked “How many days will you take off work to watch the World Cup this year?” Researchers then took all answers into account and found that the average answer was seven days. When asked how many of these absences would be ‘unauthorised’, the average answer emerged to be four days.
Using the average work day (seven hours), researchers calculated that this equates to 49 hours of work lost, 28 hours of which will be unauthorised absences. Next, taking into account the average pay as of 2017 (£13.94 per hour)* and the stats that, of the 44.5 million UK adults who followed the last World Cup in 2014, 43% of those were in full-time employment (19,135,000)**, researchers estimated that a grand total of £13,070,353,100 would be lost by UK businesses due to football fans skipping work to watch the matches.
Wanting to find out more, participants were asked if they had taken work off to watch any of the 2014 World Cup, to which 68% said they had. When respondents were asked if they had gotten into trouble for taking this time off, two fifths (41%) said they had.
Finally, respondents were asked what lie they planned to tell their employer to get the time off work with ‘going to a doctor’s appointment’ topping the list at 32%, followed by ‘telling them I’m sick’ (20%) and ‘telling them there is a family emergency’ (17%).
Tom Rooney, spokesperson for Football Tips commented:
“The World Cup is of course a hugely important time for many of us living in the UK, even though England usually do terribly. It is surprising how many people plan to take time off to watch the games, especially as over half of this time is likely to be unauthorised. If you do plan to pull a sickie instead of going to work, at least avoid posting anything on social media!”