LAW firm Clough & Willis saw a massive 250 per cent increase in North-West companies calling its Employers Advantage HR service in the last 24 hours all enquiring about what they can do if they suspect their employees are taking 'bogus' sick days during the World Cup.

The firm said it had received calls from businesses right across the region with the same concern: that employees had ditched work without permission to watch England’s inaugural match against Iran.

Chris Macwilliam, partner and head of employment at Clough & Willis, said: "No one wants to be a killjoy but losing days to unauthorised absences is a real issue that can affect the bottom line.

“We all want England to bring it home but there are some firms out there who are worried that England’s success might cost them financially.

“Football is supposed to bring us together after all and we need that now more than ever.”

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