WITH the start of another major international football, comes the bi-annual dilemma of how people can watch key matches taking place during working hours.

All of the home nations have qualified for Euro 2016, with the exception of Scotland, and with England and Wales playing each other at 2pm next Thursday, the problem for many is bigger than ever.

Many employers have already made plans to avoid potential conflict, something which a number of legal firms have advised is a good idea.

Duncan Snook, employment solicitor at Thrings, said: “With Euro 2016 starting on Friday, and matches kicking off from lunchtime onwards, many employers will be getting ready to tackle staff challenges around internet use during working hours, requests for annual leave and, if those requests are rejected, possibly sickness absence.

“Many employers will already have comprehensive policies in place which deal with such issues, and these will already be known to their staff.

“However, in the days leading up to the start of the tournament, employers should take the opportunity to communicate the policies around internet and social media use during work hours to staff so they are in no doubt about where they stand if they are thinking of watching games on their computers or personal devices.”

Duncan also said there are a number of options available to companies to make sure everything runs smoothly.

He said: “Employers may also find that demonstrating a degree of flexibility, either by allowing staff to listen to the radio or watch the game on a TV at work, or by allowing them to come in or leave early so long as the hours are made up at an agreed time, improves employee engagement and employee relations generally.

“If employers do so, however, they should make it clear that such arrangements are only temporary.”

Among the companies which have made plans for the big games is Zurich.

A spokesman for Zurich said: "We have many people here at Zurich who will want to enjoy the European Championships and watch games being played during the working day.

"We'll be making the home nation games available for them to enjoy wherever possible."

Honda, one of Swindon’s biggest employers, and say while there are no plans for the group stages, should England progress to the later stages this could change.

A spokesman said: “At the moment we do not have anything in place but we might do later on, depending on far they get. We have done in previous years.

“As we are a multi-national employer, we have lots of nationalities working here so it would be hard to draw the line.

“But we are going to see how things progress.”