As football fans eagerly look forward to the kick-off of the FIFA 2018 World Cup, new guidance has this week been issued by Acas to help employers get ready for potential employment issues that could arise during the tournament.
The guidance covers time off, sickness absence, flexibility, use of social media and websites, drinking and being under the influence of drink at work.
Whilst the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Di Maria, Aguero or Marcelo will no doubt demonstrate athleticism and poise, the challenge will be for employers to find their own balance.
The emphasis is on forward planning. Although many employees will want their employer to take a more flexible approach to working hours and annual leave, the ultimate objective for the employer is to maintain a productive work environment.
Acas Chair, Sir Brendan Barber, said: "The World Cup is an exciting event for many football fans but staff should avoid getting a red card for unreasonable demands or behaviour in the workplace during this period. "Many businesses need to maintain a certain staffing level in order to survive. Employers should have a set of simple workplace agreements in place before kick off to help ensure their businesses remain productive whilst keeping staff on side too. "Our guidance published today can help managers get the best from their team players, arrange appropriate substitutions if necessary and avoid unnecessary penalties or unplanned send offs."