Germans should be allowed to watch the football World Cup on television at work without getting into trouble with their superiors, the head of the National Employers' Association said on Thursday.
Dieter Hundt, often called the "boss of the bosses", called on companies to cut their staff a little slack when footballmania strikes over the next month. "I am confident that employers, while considering the needs of their businesses, will react flexibly and, together with their workforces, develop their own policies," he told the daily Berliner Zeitung.
Every company needs to decide for itself "to what extent it can strike a balance with the broadcast of World Cup games and working hours". Hundt's counterpart at the German Federation of Trade Unions, Michael Sommer, welcomed the employers' pledge of tolerance when asked by the Berliner Zeitung.
Watching soccer together encourages "team cohesion and staff motivation," he argued. He noted that several of the World Cup matches in South Africa were taking place in the early afternoon, including the second match featuring the German side, against Serbia on June 18.