Can I leave work early to watch England vs Germany match tomorrow? Employment rights and sick day rules explained

ENGLAND face Germany in a must-watch Euro 2020 game on Tuesday evening.

But many workers face a dilemma thanks to a 5pm kick off and employers have been urged to let people knock off early to watch the match.

Football fans will be switching on at 5pm on Tuesday for England versus Germany


Football fans will be switching on at 5pm on Tuesday for England versus GermanyCredit: PA

Can you leave early and what are your employment rights? We explain all.

Can I leave early to watch the Euro 2020 game?

There are likely to be many eager football fans wanting to watch the England game who’ll still be on the clock at 5pm on Tuesday when it kicks off.

The TUC has suggested managers should talk to their employees ahead of the big game and allow them to watch the action on the company’s premises.

Meanwhile staff working at home because of the pandemic should be allowed to finish early to watch games.

This could involve starting earlier or coming in later, depending on working hours.

Of course, it’s up to your employer if you’re allowed to or not.

It never hurts to ask, but you should be prepared for your boss to say no.

Many more people have been working from home because of the pandemic, including handling things like childcare when schools were closed and caring for family who were ill or self-isolating.

This could mean companies are more amenable to flexible working than in previous years, although that’s by no means a guarantee.

Frances Grady, boss of the TUC, said: “Bosses should talk to their staff and try and let people who want to watch the games do so, either at work or at home – and then claim back their time afterwards.   

“Whether it’s about major sporting events like Euro 2020, attending a medical appointment or picking up the kids from school, allowing people more flexibility in how and when they do their work makes them happier. It cuts absenteeism and raises productivity. “

What are my employment rights?

There is no right to flexible working in the UK, the TUC notes.

While you can make a request for flexible working more generally, (and you must be employed for at least 26 weeks to do that), your employer does not have to give it to you.

If you make a request for flexible working and you don’t get it, you have to wait 12 months before you ask again.

A flexible working request is usually made for a permanent change to working hours, like early starts and finishes to get kids to and from school.

Unless you’ve agreed with your employer that you can leave early, there’s no legal obligation to let you go.

Self-employed workers set their own hours and may be able to leave earl if they don’t have prior commitments with customers or clients.

Generally time off during usual working hours is only allowed for emergencies, illness ore pre-arranged appointments like a GP visit.

Can I get sick pay?

If you are genuinely ill, you may be entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP).

If you qualify, you’ll get £96.35 per week, for up to 28 weeks.

To be eligible, you’ll need to earn an average of at least £120 per week.

Usually you need to have been sick for at least four days in a row – including non-working days.

Sick pay is one of the rights employees are entitled to as part of their contracts, along with others such as maternity or paternity leave, rest breaks and time off.

But if you’re self-employed or a contract worker, the rules about what you’re entitled too are different.

You can find out more about the rules for SSP and how to claim.

If an employer has cause to think your sickness isn’t genuine, they can investigate, and even take disciplinary action over unauthorised absence, said Simon Robinson, an employment solicitor at law firm Robinson Ralph.

He said: “The employer would have to prove it, for example with evidence from social media, and they could investigate, looking at things like past sickness patterns.

“Going sick because you want to watch a football match is never a good idea. It’s not worth losing your job over a football match.”

Official merchandise from postponed 2020 events like the Euros and Olympics could be worth up to £1,500.



England’s Euro 2020 stars have a water balloon fight as they relax ahead of Germany game


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