Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged employers across England to ‘go easy’ on employees who come into work tired or hungover after England’s match against Italy on Sunday.
The nation is abuzz with excitement over the final – the first time England has reached the last stage of an international football tournament in 55 years.
With the streets already full of people shouting “it’s coming home” it is easy to get caught up in the spirit of the tournament, even if you aren’t a fan of football normally.
Given the scenes during the semi-final against Denmark this week, it is likely that many people will go out and join in the celebrations.
That may mean sore heads come Monday, which is why No. 10 has decided to issues the following statement following a parliament website petition calling for an emergency bank holiday, which has garnered a quarter of a million signatures.
Asked if employers needed to be flexible, a No. 10 spokesperson, 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.”
Questioned about the potential for an official all-day public holiday, the spokesperson added: “The Prime Minister was asked that and he said it would be tempting fate and he wants to see what happens on Sunday, and I think that is the right approach.”
Although the Prime Minister’s statement isn’t tacit approval or a recommendation for employers to allow employees to have time off, it is a pragmatic approach that many employers may wish to consider.
Where possible. employers should try to discuss this with their employees in advance and see whether existing holiday time can be used instead of an unauthorized absence.
If this isn’t possible then employers may want to make it clear that normal workplace rules apply or, if they feel it is suitable for their business, allow staff to have a flexible start to the day.
However, expectations for Monday should be clearly communicated in writing and where staff fail to meet these standards it should be discussed when they return to work.
Where employees take things too far and are unwell or unfit to work due to drink or drugs employers should take appropriate action, especially if it impacts the health and safety of others. Remember, both employees and employers have a legal duty to ensure the workplace is safe.
Finally, employers must remember that many employees have no interest in Sunday’s match. It is important that these staff members aren’t discriminated against or treated unfairly, as it could lead to grievances arising.
If you run into any HR issues related to the final and would like the assistance of our experienced team, please feel free to contact us.