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Watching the Euros at work – an employers guide and workers rights

Officeology have come up with a guide to help workers and companies figure out what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to watching games at work

This summer is going to be packed with non-stop sport as we’re currently enjoying the postponed 2020 European Football Championship, Wimbledon has just started and we also have the Tokyo Olympics to look forward to.

Much of the action will take place during traditional daytime working hours so many employees are wondering if they should be allowed to watch it and what their rights are. Thankfully, Officeology have come up with a comprehensive guide to help workers and companies figure out what is and isn’t allowed.

Offieology, the UK’s leading workplace solutions company, have looked into whether people in the UK will be watching the Euro’s during the working day, how employees can support staff and what rights workers have when it comes to being able to watch matches while at work.

Based on a survey of more than 1500 members of the public, almost 1 in 4 (24%) said they watch the Euro’s while at work. This number will no doubt be much higher when England are playing and we’d expect the majority to say they’ll be tuning in when the Three Lions take on Germany in the last-16 at 5pm on Tuesday 29th.

Digital Marketing agency NOVOS have made it clear they’re happy to let their employees watch the football during working hours. Co-founder Sam Hurley said

“The Euros is a great way for employees to unwind during the working day. Especially when working from home it’s super important that people can escape their laptops for a while, and what better way than cheering your team on!”

“Although we already have flexible working hours at NOVOS, our team understands their responsibilities and what’s required from them so we’re happy for them to take an hour or two out of the day now and again”.

“If it makes our staff happier then we’re all for it, and I’d massively recommend other companies do the same!”.

Employers can take advantage of the Euro’s to help boost morale by allowing employees to watch the games. By introducing flexible hours, it will also encourage accountability which should improve an employees time keeping skills. Euro 2020 is also a great opportunity for employees to promote inclusivity and multiculturalism.

However, while there are clear benefits for companies to allow employees to watch the games during working hours, some will choose not to so it’s important workers know their rights. So do they have any rights to watch games? The short answer is…no. However, workers can use holiday to take time off or negotiate with their manager to make up the time they need off for the match.

No doubt many workers will try to pull a sickie either to watch the game or maybe if they feel too hungover the following day. However, this isn’t advisable as your boss will know exactly what you’re up to and it won’t look good at all.

Put simply, there is no legal right for workers to watch football or any sporting activity while at work but lots of companies will try to be flexible, especially if it’s an England match that’s on. Nowadays, most companies are looking to build relationships with their staff and allowing workers to watch games is a great way to build that rapport.

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