With the World Cup set to begin on Friday, it is likely to dominate the UK’s viewing habits for the next month and quite possibly much of the discussion in the country’s workplaces.
However, a survey by Croner – which specialises in legal practices and advice regarding matters such as health and safety and HR – revealed that managers of British businesses may have to deal with issues around discrimination should "banter" get out of hand.
An online poll conducted by YouGov for the company indicated that one in ten UK workers suggested that such discussions can often lead to tension among employees.
Liz Iles, a senior employment consultant at Croner, suggested that bosses should be aware of a more diverse spread of staff and the possibility that banter can turn "nationalistic".
She added that employers could be at risk of bullying or harassment claims "if someone’s idea of a light-hearted discussion is interpreted quite differently by another member of staff".
By Ross George