England World Cup game: Can you watch?

Stephen Gerrard celebrates after scoring England's only goal of the tournament in their opener against the USA

England will face Slovenia in their final World Cup group game on Wednesday.

So far, England have had weekend fixtures. But employed fans may find it difficult to see England's crucial game during working hours.

Unions have urged bosses to allow staff to watch the game that could result in either England going through to the last 16 or out of the World Cup.

Managers and staff have contacted us to say if they will be watching.


I will be closing our business down at 1445 BST for the remainder of the afternoon and my colleagues and I will be going to the pub to watch the match. However, I know they will make up the lost time, as needed - not so easy for a larger company. And where do we stop? The Rugby World Cup? The Ashes? It is only a group match after all.

Michael, Eastbourne

I'm the manager of where I work and I've told anyone who is interested that the game will be on in the board room on the big screen. Also, I have arranged a barbecue for after work for the guys, mainly at my expense. If only all employers could be this lenient. I'm not claiming time back from my staff. They're happy, I'm happy and we don't lose any business because of it as we have a rota for phone watch duty. I think if these people come in day in and day out doing work for you, yes they get paid but sometimes you just want to say 'thank you' for the hard work they do put in throughout the year.

Bob, Midlands

I am a manager at a large toy shop. I have many workers and I will not be allowing them access to the football as we value our customers as being more important than the England game. I think letting my staff watch the match will only be detrimental as we need to maximise our sales in this tough recession. Whoever lets their staff take two hours break to watch England suffer at the hands of Slovenia will be the ones who have to answer to the hard-working people of this world when they cause a double dip recession and global depression!

Paul Rodgermesom, Manchester

I would say as a manager, allowing staff to watch the World Cup is a must. The passion English fans have for the game is second to none. Companies should try and harness that passion, encourage it and weave it into work, rather than block it out completely. A lot of people will see this as an unnecessary gimmick to get time off work and if we lose the match it could be counter-productive. But we're crawling out of a deficit on the backs of our hard workers. We rely on getting the best we can out of them, plus all the VAT increases, budget cuts, etc. The life of the low end worker is not going to be a good one for a few years. The least we can do is give them something in return, especially if it can ignite a spark back up in so many people feeling a bit on the back end at the moment.

Rob, Newcastle

As a manager I have been as flexible as possible, however minimum staffing levels have to be maintained as I work in a retail outlet and we must be available for those who wish to shop. Saying that, if people want to watch the World Cup they have had weeks to make arrangements to do so since the fixtures came out.

Pete, Barrow-in-Furness


The Gatley Glass employees The Gatley Glass employees

Our boss Julie is closing the business at 1430BST so that we can all go and watch the match. She has provided us with England shirts and caps. It's great having a boss who is more into the World Cup than the workers. Nice one, Julie.

William Wayman, Manchester

At our security and cleaning company, we are working through our lunch break and stopping at 1430 BST when we will stop all office activities. We will be having a buffet and drinks, sit back in the boss's office (with him) and watch the match and either go home elated or continue to drown our sorrows.

Derek Walsh, Liverpool

Our company, based in the City and numbering approximately 120 people, will be holding an annual summer barbecue and have coordinated this year's event with the match on Wednesday. Drinks, food and football - a great morale boost!

Danielle Spurling, London

The boss has agreed that everyone can finish at 1230 BST on Wednesday if they wish to do so in order to watch the match. I think it is important that employers value their staff's wishes and in return they will be a far better workforce.

Anne Harper, Leicester

I am allowed to have half hour lunches on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, so that I can leave at 1400 BST on Wednesday, which gives me enough time to get home, change, and get to the pub!

Tina Dixon, Buckinghamshire

My workplace has allowed all staff to watch matches (any match) at work as long as certain criteria are met. These include being respectful to other staff not watching matches, that any time taken to watch the match is made up during the week, and that matches are only watched in dedicated areas.

Ben Spellman, London

The college where I work said they would not let students or staff watch the game. So I have taken a day's leave and will be in the pub from 1400 BST.

Phil, Merseyside

I work at a company that has around 90 people in the office, many of those who are of different nationalities. We have had every game on the TV in our social area and for the England game tomorrow our bosses are putting on food and drink to have while watching the match. It creates a great atmosphere and if anything increases productivity in our office. Everyone puts in that little extra if they know that your company is looking after you.

Scott Ballantyne, London

Our managing director is putting on a barbecue at his house. We are all (17 in our local office) invited to his house on Wednesday afternoon to watch the match, and for the barbecue afterwards. Let's hope the England team performs as well as our MD!

Carol, Cornwall

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