Friday 9 July 2021 4:08 pm

Euros 2020: Bank holiday, sick day or in mourning? Businesses urged to be flexible day after final

There are increasing calls from business groups, unions, and the public, for employers to offer flexibility to staff for the day after the Euros 2020 final, as the Prime Minister is under pressure to announce a bank holiday if England win.

“Businesses across England will recognise the momentous nature for many of the prospect of football ‘coming home’ on Sunday night” assured Hannah Essex, co-executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce.

She said that businesses which have already been set up to allow for flexible working, should be able to “easily plan” to allow their staff short periods of time off too.

Essex said: “After such a tough 15 months, the final will lift people’s spirits and give an added kick to consumer and business confidence.”

Trade Unions

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) have said that millions of workers will be watching England play against Italy on Sunday evening in what is considered to be the biggest game for the national team since England won the World Cup in 1966.

“We all hope the final against Italy is a cause for celebration,” said Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC. With that in mind, she said: “Bosses should talk to their staff about flexible working arrangements ahead of Monday morning – perhaps allowing them to start later and claim back their time afterwards.

Businesses should extend that flexibility to the 2.2 million people working on Sunday too, O’Grady said, pointing out that many of them are key workers.

“Many of them will want to watch the match, and they should be able to, either at work or by finishing early and making up the time,” she explained.

Unite the Union, another major trade union, urged the government to make sure all workers have an additional bank holiday if England’s football team win – on a permanent basis.

The union said this would be justified because UK workers have fewer bank holidays than in most other European countries.

Bank holiday petition

Calls to have Monday off have intensified, with over 100,000 signatures on a petition hosted on the Parliament website.

It reads: “Sunday 8pm is a difficult time for families to plan to be together for the event – knowing we have an additional day off the next day would significantly help this.”

“Furthermore, a historic win should be celebrated. It would be expected for the winning team to parade the trophy, and a bank holiday would be a perfect time to do this,” the statement added.

“Also, English people would naturally want to continue to enjoy the win, giving the retail and leisure industry a much-needed opportunity to make up lost revenues.”

But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I don’t want to pre-empt the outcome of Sunday’s match. Clearly we want England to go all the way and win the final, and then we will set out our plans in due course.”

“We will hopefully, when England go on to win, then go on to set out our plans,” he added.

Meanwhile Downing Street has said employers who are able to, should be flexible about allowing staff to go into work late on Monday or take the day off if England win Euro 2020.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We would want businesses who feel able to consider it if they can, but we recognise it will vary depending on the business and company.”