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Does the World Cup guarantee time off from work? Ask questions about national team match days


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Workers who are counting on days off on the Brazilian team’s game days at the Qatar World Cup can be frustrated.

The date is not a public holiday and, although some Brazilian municipalities have decreed an optional point, the days on which Brazil enters the field at the World Cup continue to be considered working days for most workers.

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This year, the national team’s games will be on weekdays and during business hours, coinciding with the season of most companies.

However, traditionally, employers and employees agree to watch the national team matches in one of the most anticipated sporting events in the world.

What days and times does Brazil enter the field in the World Cup?

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The opening of the World Cup in Qatar will be on November 20, with the match between Qatar and Ecuador. But the debut of the Brazilian team will only be on November 24, in a match against Serbia.

The next opponents are Switzerland and Cameroon. Depending on the performance, Brazil can have three to seven matches in the competition.

The first three games of the Brazilian team at the World Cup in Qatar will be on weekdays and during office hours. In this first phase, two games will be played at 4 pm, and one of them at 1 pm, Brasília time.

View Brazil’s World Cup match schedule

date and time day in the week Match
November 24 at 4pm Thursday Brazil vs Serbia
November 28 at 1pm Monday Brazil vs Switzerland
December 2 at 4pm Friday Cameroon vs Brazil

If, after the three matches, the Brazilian team qualifies in first place in the group, it will face the second place in Group H for the round of 16 on December 5, again on a Monday, at 4 pm.

In the case of qualifying in second place, Brazil would face the first place in the same group, on December 6, Tuesday, at 4 pm.

Does Brazil’s World Cup game day guarantee a break from work?

No, according to experts, labor legislation does not provide for the company’s obligation to dismiss employees on the day of the event. However, it is possible to negotiate days off or combine a shorter working day to be able to keep up with the games.

Can I make a deal with the boss to take time off?

Yup. Lawyers say that the agreement between the boss and employees ends up being the best solution to follow the team’s games, since forcing workers to keep working hours on game days can discourage the team.

According to lawyer Orlando Mazaro Padoan, from Hulsen e Padoan Advogados, the best way out is to establish an agreement to compensate for the day or hours not worked. According to him, this compensation is already provided for in many collective agreements and is something traditionally adopted during the World Cup.

“As a general rule, micro-enterprises and small businesses dismiss workers without any kind of agreement for a customary reason and to please the employees. In this case, no salary deduction can be made and no type of compensation can be discussed later. .”

In the case of large companies, which have a legal department, it is common to have a written agreement that usually provides for compensation for that day not worked in the same week. For example, Thursday’s day off would be made up on Saturday. The possibility of compensating that day not worked in another week or another month depends on the collective agreement of each category.

Another option would be to use the hour bank to compensate for absence from work during Brazil’s games.

What happens if the employee misses work on game day?

The lawyer specializing in labor law Luís Carlos Mello, from Atique e Mello Advogados, explains that, as the days when the Brazilian team takes to the field are not considered holidays in Brazil, missing work to watch the games can have consequences.

“As a rule, any unjustified absence will enable the respective discount of the working day”, he says. In addition to having the working day discounted, he can also be without the remuneration related to the weekly rest day, for failing to comply with the conditions to be entitled to this remuneration.

But despite these consequences, unexcused absence is no reason for a dismissal for just cause. This only occurs in cases where the employee greatly increases the frequency of absences, without presenting a plausible justification and not in isolated cases.

Can Cup Day become a holiday?

One way to transform the team’s game days into holidays would be through a federal, state or municipal decree.

“In this case, the employee would have the right to take time off, under penalty of the hours worked on that day being due in double, under the terms of law 605/49”, says Mello.

Some Brazilian cities have already considered Brazil’s game days as an optional point, freeing municipal servers from work.

Unlike the holiday, the optional point is an administrative act that exempts public servants from work at the municipal, state and federal levels.

But the definition of the optional point does not extend to private companies. “The optional point does not fit as labor law, but as administrative law”, says Mello.

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