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Calls for work flexibility after England game as pressure grows on PM to grant public holiday

Written by on 09/07/2021

There are calls for a flexible start on Monday, or even a public holiday, so workers can celebrate England’s Euro 2020 victory… or recover from defeat.

England faces Italy in the tournament on Sunday night in their biggest game for men’s football since the 1966 World Cup final.

The match will be over by 10pm if it is settled in normal time but if extra time and penalty shoot-outs are required, it could be closer to 11pm before a result is known.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) said the game would be a “historic moment” for the country.

General secretary Frances O’Grady added: “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 2.2 million workers who work on a Sunday – many of them key workers.

More on Euro 2020

“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.”

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson 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.”

A petition has also been set up on the Parliament website asking the prime minister to grant a one-off holiday if England wins at Wembley on Sunday.

Lee Jones set up the petition on Thursday and by 10am on Friday, it had more than 315,000 signatures.

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.

“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.”

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England fans climb on to buses

The prime minister’s 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.”

Mr Jones told the radio station Heart: “I appreciate [the prime minister] wanting to wait and see, but we want to get ready for it – we’re excited.

“It would be nice to have one extra day to either celebrate or commiserate.”

Mr Johnson has said pubs can stay open until 11.15pm on Sunday to reduce the risk of customers being told to leave before the match ends.

 Sky News

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