Labour backs calls for football fans to be allowed to watch World Cup at work

Alexandra Richards
Evening Standard

The Labour party has backed calls by workers unions to allow employees to watch World Cup matches at work.

Shadow sports minister Rosena Allin-Khan said she supported the Trades Union Congress’s call for flexible working hours during the tournament.

The union also said bosses should be more accommodating with their employees during the World Cup, allowing them to work from home or move their shifts in order to watch a match.

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The TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said bosses should avoid scoring an own goal with their staff by being a “killjoy.”

“Tournaments like this can be a great for building camaraderie at work, with colleagues running sweepstakes and spending time together,” she said.

Dr Allin-Khan echoed Ms O’Grady’s sentiments.

She told the BBC: “As a nation, we're proud to cheer on England in the World Cup and we believe that employers should be flexible with fans supporting our national team in the coming weeks."

The TUC released advice for employers on how to make life easier for football fans.

It included allowing staff to come in earlier or later, arranging a place for staff to watch the games at work and being flexible about annual leave requests.

The World Cup kicks off on Thursday afternoon with its opening ceremony featuring a performance from pop star Robbie Williams.

The first match between Russia and Saudi Arabia will begin shortly after.

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