Staff work overtime so they'll be free to catch matches
STAFF are working overtime to make sure they are in front of a TV when Euro 2012 kicks off next month.
One of the main employer groups said yesterday many employees have offered to work outside normal hours so they would not miss key matches.
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association said some staff had been looking for a couple of hours off, while others had put in for a half day.
It said there was a flood of requests for the second match against Spain on June 14, which is a Thursday.
This is because most workers will be able to catch the first match against Croatia in Poznan on June 10, as it is on a Sunday. The final match is on Monday, June 18 against Italy.
Although the matches start at 7.45pm, staff on late shifts would miss them altogether, while those who finish during office hours may be worried about getting to the pub for the pre-match build up.
ISME chief executive Mark Fielding said most of the requests had come from staff doing shift work in the manufacturing industry for the Ireland games, although foreign workers would also be keen to catch their team.
"The arrangement that we've been hearing about is workers getting time for time worked rather than double time, time and a half or anything like that."
"Employers are trying to make sure they get their production done, and done properly. It's only once in a blue moon we qualify for these things, so they're giving their staff a bit of flexibility," he added.
"Most of the workers are on shift work, but some just want to get to the pub at 4pm for the match at 7.45pm."
He said some employers had offered to give an hour or two off in the morning after matches to staff who worked during office hours, but wanted to "go on the tear", although this had not been as popular.
Mr Fielding, who is heading to Poznan for the Spanish game, said he had decided to take the day off rather than work overtime.
"I'm flying over in the morning and back that night and taking the day off, so there won't be any issue," he added.