COME in early or take the day off.
That’s the message from Huddersfield employers to workers who want to watch England’s decisive World Cup group match.
Fabio Capello’s team take on Slovenia at 3pm tomorrow, knowing only a win will guarantee them a place in the knockout round.
Millions across the country will be tuning in to watch the crucial game from Port Elizabeth – but business must go on in Huddersfield.
Engineering firm Thomas Broadbent is encouraging staff who want to watch the big game to start their shift early.
Simon Broadbent is managing director of the centrifuge manufacturers.
He said: “Most of our staff work from 7.30am to 4pm so we’re offering them the chance to come in two hours early and go home two hours early.”
Mr Broadbent believes around half of the 130 workers at the site will take advantage of the offer.
He said: “Some people are genuinely not interested in the football. We need cover for spares and service and emergency sales calls.”
The University of Huddersfield said yesterday that its 1,600 staff could either start early or take time off it they wanted to watch the game.
Spokesman John Ramsdin said: “This is not a time of year when teaching is happening and most of the exam results have come through.
“Any staff who want to watch the game will have to work around it, either by taking holiday or coming in early.
“The Students’ Union is showing the game, so staff can watch it there without having to travel home and maybe missing the first half.”
Baby product manufacturer Mamas and Papas is not making any plans to show the game at its Bradley headquarters. In previous World Cups some of the 500 employees watched England games on the TV in the canteen.
But spokeswoman Gill Kingston-Warren said: “We won’t be making any special plans this year. If people want to watch the game they will have to take the day off.
“We have to treat all our staff equally.”
It’s a similar story for the more than 10,000 people who work for Kirklees Council.
Yesterday a council spokesman said: “There are no special arrangements for the football, but staff who wish to take time off on Wednesday afternoon can do so in the usual way – through annual leave or by using flexible working – providing it is approved by their manager.”
Meanwhile, businesses have been warned to make sure they have a TV licence in the run-up to the big game.
Stephen Alambritis, spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Employers will not only need to make sure they put plans in place for staff to watch matches, they will also need to make sure they are properly licensed.
“It is vital that small firms and their employees understand and follow the law and avoid any risk of being prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.”