Firms urged to be flexible with staff during Euro 2016

Wayne Rooney celebrates in front of England football fans Image copyright Reuters

Firms should be flexible with staffing during the Euro 2016 football tournament, which begins on 10 June, the conciliation service Acas says.

It has published a set of guidelines to prevent disputes arising if staff want to watch their team in the competition.

Acas said firms should have agreements in place to cover requests for time off, website use during working hours, or watching TV during the tournament.

Some games, including Wales v England, are being played in the daytime.

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Sir Brendan Barber, who chairs Acas, said: "The Euro 2016 tournament is an exciting event for many football fans but staff should avoid getting a red card for unreasonable demands or behaviour in the workplace during this period.

"Many businesses need to maintain a certain staffing level in order to survive. Employers should have a set of simple workplace agreements in place before kick off to help ensure their businesses remain productive whilst keeping staff happy too."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Gareth Bale is set to play for Wales in the nation's first major tournament since 1958
Image copyright PA
Image caption Northern Ireland fans will be on the road to France next month

Acas said employees and employers should discuss time off well in advance. Another possible option is to have a more flexible working day, with staff starting work later or finishing early and then agreeing when this time can be made up.

Employers could also allow staff to take a break during match times, it was suggested.

It is the first time Wales and Northern Ireland have qualified for the tournament.

Many of the games, being held in France, have evening kick offs but some - including the game between England and Wales - start in the early afternoon.

Sir Brendan said staff may also need to be reminded about the companies' attitude to being under the influence of alcohol or using social media whilst at work.

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