Let footie fans work flexibly to watch Euro 2020

As Euro 2020 approaches its last games, the TUC has published advice for bosses whose staff want to watch games during their normal working hours.

The TUC suggests that bosses:  

· talk to their employees in advance about arrangements for key games

· arrange for their staff to watch the game somewhere on the company’s premises, if appropriate

· allow staff working from home to finish early to watch games

· allow staff to work flexibly and to come in early or later to finish their shifts

· be as flexible as possible with annual leave requests

Flexible working has real benefits for businesses and their workforces, says the TUC. Many workplaces already operate a system of flexitime, and the rise in remote working since the pandemic means many staff will be working from home.  

Televised games kick off at various times, with some matches (like England vs. Germany) starting at 5pm UK time. But it will not just be 9-5 workers who might want to clock off early. More than one in five UK employees (5.8 million people) work evenings and weekends, and many will want to watch the matches too.

TUC General Secretary, and England and Arsenal supporter, Frances O’Grady said: “Millions of workers around the UK will want to cheer on their national teams in Euro 2020 – especially after the tournament was postponed last year.    

“Bosses should talk to their staff and try and let people who want to watch the games do so, either at work or at home – and then claim back their time afterwards.   

“Whether it’s about major sporting events like Euro 2020, attending a medical appointment or picking up the kids from school, allowing people more flexibility in how and when they do their work makes them happier. It cuts absenteeism and raises productivity.  

“So come on England!”

TUC guidance is available at

Workers in the UK do not currently have the right to work flexibly – they only have a right to request flexible working.

A person must be an employee in post for at least 26 weeks before they can make a request. Employers have very wide scope for refusing requests there is no right for employees to appeal, and they must wait 12 months before they are allowed to make a new request.

Before the right to request was introduced in 2013, 74% of employees did not do any form of flexible working. Since the right to request was introduced, this has reduced only slightly to 70%. And only 13% of employees have flexi-time – the most common form of flexible working. This suggests that the right to request has made little difference. (Figures are from the Labour Force Survey.)

PAYadvice.UK 27/6/2021

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