I’m an employment lawyer – here are your rights if you get in trouble for having a hangover at work after the World Cup

BRITS across the country will raise a glass as they watch World Cup games to either celebrate or regret the results.

But if you’re having one too many and nursing a horrible hangover after the footie, your boss might not be too impressed.

Brits with a World Cup hangover could get into trouble with their boss


Brits with a World Cup hangover could get into trouble with their bossPhoto credit: Getty

Although some companies are forgiving when football fans get tipsy, others are less forgiving when workers break the rules.

A lawyer specializing in employment law has now revealed what the consequences can be if you show up to work in poor clothing – and what rights you must observe.

Victoria Schofield, an attorney at Slater & Gordon, warned revelers they could be in trouble if they pull a cripple over the World Cup.

Bosses might be skeptical about your illness if you don’t make it to work the day after a big game — especially if everyone is.

She explained that if your sports-loving manager hasn’t given you permission to watch certain World Cup games, you may face disciplinary action if you drop out.

If you simply don’t show up for work, Victoria says you could run into problems because of the fine print on your contract.

For those worried about getting a sore head from the night before, being late for once will likely avoid a layoff.

However, you could still be hit with a verbal or written warning for your poor timing.

But Britons who are just too rough from beer to do physical labor face disciplinary action.

Victoria explained: “A flexible employer may be willing to give staff unpaid extra leave to watch matches, or start/finish late the next day to make up for the inevitable hangover.

“But a stricter employer could require medical sick leave for World Cup failures.

“As always, communication between employer and employee is key to a successful relationship.”

So instead of scoring an own goal, it’s best to try and agree your shifts with your employer before you cancel.

Footie fans who find their work lives clashing with key games are also confused.

Due to the sweltering heat and three-hour time difference with Qatar, crucial matches are played at sporadic times.

This means many Britons will miss seeing England and other countries at the 2022 World Cup.

England’s first game is against Iran – who win the trophy by 500-1, compared to the Three Lions’ odds of 8-1 – and it starts at 1pm.

A large proportion of the UK’s 33 million workers will not be able to see it during working hours when it starts.

But Victoria says if you just don’t show up for work, you’ll most likely be fined for it.


She explained that many policies dictate that employees must devote all of their working time to their work – meaning you could be accused of “stealing” working time if you sneak away to watch the game.

The lawyer said: “A reasonable employer should of course carry out a proper investigation into an alleged disciplinary offense and take care to apply an appropriate sanction.

“In most cases, an employee has the right to a reasonable warning before a disciplinary hearing, particularly where dismissal is a possible consequence, and to be escorted to that hearing and be able to present his or her case.”

If you are accused of misconduct, your employer, after an internal investigation, must be genuinely convinced that you are guilty.

But if you are threatened with being fired, it must be within the “reasonable range” that your boss could have taken.

This means that an employment tribunal would consider whether a reasonable employer would have fired an employee in the circumstances.

If you have a clean disciplinary report, a court will likely find that losing your job was unfair.

Victoria said: “However, the cases are likely to be fact-based and it is very difficult to make blanket generalizations.”

Instead, the labor law expert suggests reaching an agreement with the employer about flexibility during the World Cup.

Promising to make up lost time can help your case.

But if your boss flatly rejects your negotiation, Victoria explained, there’s not much more to do than use your vacation pay.

Footie fans have previously started a petition demanding the nation be given half a day off to watch England’s first World Cup game.

Bosses at Manchester’s Road to Victory arena, Europe’s biggest fan zone, want staff to have a chance to support the boys on Monday.