Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to grant workers bank holiday if England win Euro 2020

Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to grant workers bank holiday if England win Euro 2020
Downing Street has said that it will set out any celebration plans ‘in due course’

Boris Johnson is under increased pressure to give workers a bank holiday if England win the Euro 2020 championship this weekend.

More than 300,000 people have signed a petition calling on the prime minister to grant a one-off day off for Monday, the day after the final takes place in Wembley against Italy.

The number of signatures soared to this number in less than 24 hours since the petition was launched on Thursday.

Lee Jones, who set up a petition, wrote: “Sunday 8pm is a difficult time for families to plan to be together for the event – knowing we have an additional day off the next day would significantly help this.

“Furthermore, a historic win should be celebrated. It would be expected for the winning team to parade the trophy, and a bank holiday would be a perfect time to do this.

“Also, English people would naturally want to continue to enjoy the win, giving the retail and leisure industry a much-needed opportunity to make up lost revenues.”

The England’s men’s football team progressed to the final after their 2-1 win against Denmark on Wednesday.

If they win Sunday’s match, the trophy will be their first major silverware since their historic World Cup triumph in 1966.

Mr Johnson, who watched the game at Wembley with his wife Carrie, has wished the national men’s team the “very best” ahead of the final, but said granting a bank holiday would be “tempting fate”.

Downing Street has said it will set out any celebrations such as a victory parade for the England team “in due course”, but has not confirmed whether plans for a potential bank holiday are in motion behind the scenes.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “I don’t want to pre-empt the outcome of Sunday’s match. Clearly we want England to go all the way and win the final, and then we will set out our plans in due course.”

Downing Street also said that employers who are able to offer flexibility should do so, such as allowing staff to go in to work late on Monday or take the day off if England win.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: “We would want businesses who feel able to consider it if they can.”

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said bosses should try to come to a compromise with workers.

She said: “Bosses should talk to staff and try to let people who want to watch games do so – either at work, or at home – and claim back working time afterwards.”

The match will be over by 10pm if it is settled in normal time. However, extra time and a penalty shoot-out could mean the game would finish closer to 11pm.

Wednesday’s victory over Denmark – England men’s first semi-finals triumph in 55 years – went to extra time and finished at around 10.45pm.

Mr Johnson has already said pubs can stay open until 11.15pm on Sunday to reduce the risk of customers being told to leave before the match ends.

Football fans bought an estimated 6.8 million pints during the match, which equates to more than 50,000 pints a minute during the course of two hours, the British Beer and Pub Association has estimated.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak welcomed the increased spending after pubs and other hospitality businesses struggled during successive coronavirus lockdowns.

He said: “The team has brought an enormous amount of joy to the country after a very difficult year.

“Consumer confidence is important to our country and our economy because we are a consumption driven economy. The football just adds to it.

“Consumer confidence has already returned to pre-crisis levels. And things that make us feel good are good for the economy.”