No need to have ‘Throne’ a sickie

On 24 April, season six of the hit drama Game of Thrones premiered in the US. For those UK viewers who simply could not wait to find out Jon Snow’s fate, the episode was also simultaneously broadcast here… at 2am on Monday 25 April.

That meant some viewers had a difficult decision to make, would they yawn their way through their Monday morning meetings, use up some of their precious annual leave or (obviously against our advice) call in sick?

Fortunately for employees at +rehabstudio that was not a decision they had to grapple with, as their employer has generously elected to give all of them an extra half day’s annual leave on the morning following the broadcast of each episode.

Offering imaginative incentives can be a great way to boost staff morale and even, judging by the coverage this particular arrangement received, to boost the profile of a company.

However employers should always take care to ensure that they are not inadvertently discriminating against some of their employees, especially by offering benefits that tend to benefit one group of employees more than another, e.g. men and women, or employees of different nationalities, without proper justification.

Employees who are not lucky enough to work for such a generous employer have their own warning to heed. Last month, in the case of Ajaj v Metroline West Ltd the Employment Appeal Tribunal confirmed that ‘throwing a sickie’ is an act of dishonesty that undermines the relationship of trust and confidence between the employer and employee. So employees who are caught out could expect to face dismissal.

Dominic Bonham