The tournament may have only started last Friday but already British employers are worried about the rate of absenteeism as workers take the day off to watch the Rugby World Cup.
A report by a British online job site CV-Library has predicted that one in six of Britain’s 30-plus million workers are planning to take a sickie to watch a game.
The same survey found only 5.7 per cent of Poms said they would take annual leave so they could watch a match.
According to British online betting site Paddypower.com, England is second favourite behind the All Blacks to win the tournament with a view the home grounds will advantage the team. Australia is closely behind as third favourite in current betting.
When England played Fiji on Friday a UK employment law and HR consultancy firm, Peninsula, reportedly received 700 calls from employers regarding absent staff.
The company’s law director, Alan Price, was quoted in The Independent newspaper as saying: “It’s almost as though the Rugby World Cup has cast a spell over rugby fans, causing everyday life to stand still, consequently resulting in employees forgetting that they have an obligation to their employers and the company they work for.”
And it’s not just the English, with the Irish, the Scots and the Welsh also in the tournament. The final will be played at London’s Twickenham Stadium on October 31.