UEFA Euro 2024

Implications For Employers

Three-time winners Germany are the hosts for UEFA Euro 2024. The opening match, between Scotland and Germany, will be played on Friday 14 June 2024 and the final is scheduled to be played on Sunday 14 July 2024. The time zone, mean most group stage matches will occur outside of normal working hours.

Historically, the Euro and World Cup tournaments have led to unauthorised absences, loss of productivity, arrests of fans who have travelled abroad and altercations between supporters of different teams (at work or outside work). So as football fever grips the nation here are my tips to ensure your business continues to operate effectively whilst allowing those who are interested the opportunity to watch the matches.

UEFA Euro 2024 Group Stage

The group stages are set to run from 14 to 26 June. England and Scotland have qualified from the UK. The match between England and Denmark on 20 June kicks of at 17:00 and that is the match that is likely to have the biggest impact on workplace operations.

The games for England and Scotland in the initial group stage are scheduled to be played on:-

Teams Date UK Time
Germany v Scotland Friday 14 June 20.00
Serbia v England Sunday 16 June 20.00
Scotland v Switzerland Wednesday 19 June 20.00
Denmark v England Thursday 20 June 17.00
Scotland v Hungary Sunday 23 June 20.00
England v Slovenia Tuesday 25 June 20.00

More information about the tournament can be found on the UEFA Euro 2024 website.

The two teams with the highest scores from each of the six groups will enhance to the knockout stages of the UEFA Euro 2024 tournament.

UEFA Euro 2024 Knockout Stages

The matches involving the last 16 teams will be played between 29 June and 2 July and the quarter finals will be played on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 July; they all kick off at 17:00 and 20:00. The semi finals will be played on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 July and the final will kick off at on Sunday 14 July; all kicking off at 20:00.

In our diverse society, we need to consider equal treatment for all fans, regardless of nationality.

How The UEFA Euro 2024 Might Affect Your Workplace

The biggest concern when a major event such as the UEFA Euro 2024 is taking place is likely to arise where the scheduling of an important match overlaps with employees’ working hours. In the group stage the kick off times are 2pm, 5pm and 8pm BST. You are therefore, likely to receive requests to leave early and could potentially see increased levels of non-attendance on the morning after a late kick off.

It goes without saying that the further England progress the higher the interest will be, causing many employers to panic that their employees will be suddenly struck down with a bout of ‘Euro fever’, taking ‘sickies’ to watch matches or arriving late after a night of celebrating their team has won.

Whilst you may adopt a business-as-usual approach at the beginning of the tournament there may come a time when you have to make some concessions.

Setting clear expectations early on can mitigate potential issues later.

Common issues during major sporting events include:

  • Requests for time off at short notice.
  • Unauthorised staff absence.
  • Timekeeping issues.
  • Lower productivity.
  • Use of company internet facilities to follow the event.
  • Problems linked to alcohol consumption.
  • Discord between employees who are fans of the event, and employees who are not interested.
  • Discord between supporters of different teams.

Drawing up a policy will be a valuable precaution that will allow you to demonstrate a consistent and fair approach, should a problem arise.

Other Major Sporting Events

Later in the summer, the Olympic Games will commence on 26 July in Paris, running until 11 August, with coverage freely available on TV and streaming to laptops and mobile devices. Additionally, the T20 Cricket World Cup is currently in its early group stages.

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The Time Off Work folder provides a major sporting events policy, sickness absence policy and drugs and alcohol policy. My notice to employees explains your expectations during the tournament, i.e. business as usual or temporary measures you are introducing; there is also a flexible working request to allow your employees to notify when they want to take holiday or work flexibly to watch the football. Should things go wrong I provide a dignity in the workplace policy and disciplinary policy.

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UEFA Euro 2024 and Implications for Employers


Kathryn is a highly experienced HR Manager with a wealth of skills and knowledge acquired across a variety of industries including manufacturing, health and social care and financial services. She has worked in small localised business and larger multi sited organisations and is comfortable liaising with senior managers and union officials as well as answering queries from team members. Connect with Kathryn on:

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