The Goal: Insure Yourself Against World Cup-itis, SEZ Says

May 11, 2006 ( - A Dutch insurance company, SEZ, is offering employers a chance to insure themselves against the sudden rise in sick days during soccer's World Cup next month.

Reuters reports that SEZ’s Dennis Massaar says the firm is expecting a lot of claims. “Obviously nobody will phone in and say they’re ill because they want to watch the match or because they drank too much,” he said in the news report.

Under Dutch law, companies must still pay employees who are too ill to report to work. Companies can insure themselves against this, but most policies apply only to absences longer than two weeks.

SEZ says it will waive the usual two-week time limit and pay for any employees absent on the day of a Netherlands match or the day after, regardless of the excuse given.

Tens of thousands of Dutch workers phoned in ill during the European Championships in Portugal in 2004, according to Reuters, with sickness levels rising 20% on days when the Dutch national side played.