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Ahead of the Euro 2020 final this weekend, the TUC is today (Friday) calling on bosses to let staff work flexibly the day after the big game.

As the England team prepares to play in the final against Italy on Sunday at 8pm, the union body is publishing advice for bosses whose staff want to celebrate the historic moment.

The TUC suggests that bosses:

  • talk to their employees in advance about arrangements for flexible working ahead of Monday morning – perhaps allowing staff to start later and claim back time afterwards
  • arrange for their staff who are working on Sunday to work flexibly, make up the time later or watch the game somewhere on the company’s premises, if appropriate
  • 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.

It’s not just flexibility on Monday that is needed – around 3.9 million workers work on weekends, and 2.2 million workers work on Sundays.

The TUC says employers should try to accommodate all workers who want to watch the game.

Extra bank holiday

Responding to reports that the government is considering an extra bank holiday if England win the Euro 2020 final, the TUC has renewed its calls for government to strengthen bank holiday rights.

Workers in England and Wales get just eight bank holidays a year, fewer than any EU country. Fellow Euro 2020 finalists Italy get the European average of 12 public holidays.   

Workers in France get three additional public holidays a year, while workers in Sweden get 13 days – equivalent to an extra week off. Slovakia, Slovenia and Finland top the table with 15 days each, enjoying nearly twice as many public holidays as their British counterparts. 

The TUC believes that all UK workers should get 12 days of public holiday a year – an extra four days

TUC General Secretary, and England and Arsenal supporter, Frances O’Grady said:

 “Millions of workers across the UK will want to watch England play in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday night – a historic moment for the country.

“We all hope the final against Italy is a cause for celebration.

“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.

“And bosses should show flexibility too towards the 2.2m workers who work on a Sunday – many of them 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. 

“Flexibility isn’t just important during football tournaments. Whether it’s about major sporting events like the Euro 2020 final, attending a family celebration or picking up the kids from school, allowing people more flexibility in how and when they do their work makes them happier, cuts absenteeism and raises productivity. 

“If England can bring it home on Sunday, government should allow the country to celebrate by announcing a special bank holiday.

“But it can’t just be a one-off. UK workers get fewer bank holidays than the Italians and most other workers in Europe. The TUC has long called for more public holidays.

“Come on England! Football’s coming home!”

Editors note

- TUC guidance is available at

- Current rules on flexible working: 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.)

- About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living. 

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