By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – With less than a month to go to the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazilians working in both the public and private sectors are wondering where they will be watching the games. Since last Friday (May 16th) state governments at least have announced their official holiday schedule during the period of June 12th to July 13th.

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Many Brazilians are already planning to take off work to watch the World Cup, photo by Renato Araujo/Agencia Brasil.

Nation-wide, all federal employees are on half-day work schedule when the Brazilian team is playing but these employees will have to compensate work hours later on.

Febraban, Brazilian Federation of Banks, announced that days when the Brazilian football (soccer) team plays “financial institutions will be required to open at least four hours.” According to the entity, banks will be required to post information on modified banking hours in all agencies.

In São Paulo, city officials are making June 12th, the opening day of the 2014 World Cup at Corinthians Arena, a holiday. During the other days when games are played in the city, municipal employees are on a liberal leave policy. São Paulo will host five World Cup games in addition to the opening match between Brazil and Croatia.

The city of Rio de Janeiro has announced a half-day holiday on June 18th, 25th and a full holiday on July 4th. The city, hosting seven games in all, including the finals, will have a liberal leave policy for all other games not played in Rio. Brasília, hosting seven games including third place Cup winner, has authorized federal and city employees to leave at noon during days when the Brazilian team is playing and when the city hosts a game.

In Belo Horizonte, the city is allowing public servants to leave work early only when the Brazilian team is playing, but declined requests to allow workers to go home when the city hosts one of the Cup’s six games. In Natal, public servants will not have to work during the four days the city hosts games and have a liberal leave policy every time the Brazilian team plays elsewhere.

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Some employees will have to settle for watching World Cup games at work, photo by Felipe Gavronski/Flickr Creative Commons License.

In Recife, city workers are allowed to leave at noon when there are games at Pernambuco Arena and when the Brazilian team plays elsewhere. Public servants in Manaus, Cuiabá, Curitiba and Porto Alegre have announced a liberal leave policy for days when games are played in their respective arenas.

Manaus and Porto Alegre have declared a liberal leave policy as well for city employees when the Brazilian team is on the field while Cuiabá city officials have authorized a half-day holiday for those dates.

Fortaleza city officials have not yet announced their work schedule policy for the games. Salvador’s city council has announced holidays for June 16th, 25th and half-days for the other four games played in the city.

A survey conducted at the end of March by São Paulo Industry Federation, or FIESP, shows that 44 percent of the companies in the state had yet to decide their work policy during the World Cup period. According to Guilherme Moreira, manager at Depecon-FIESP (Research and Economic Studies Department at FIESP), the slow release of definite work schedules by state and municipal authorities for public servants delayed decisions by the private sector.

“The lack of information created uncertainty in the private sector, and some companies are leaving it to the last minute to decide,” Moreira said. Moreira explained how most companies who have already decided are repeating work schedule’s adopted from past World Cups.


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