Company that sacked employee for pulling a sickie will give all staff the morning off if England win

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Nina Farooqi pulled a sickie so she could attend the England semi final at Wembley (Nina Farooqi)
Nina Farooqi pulled a sickie so she could attend the England semi final at Wembley. (Nina Farooqi)

A company that sacked an employee for pulling a sickie to go to Wembley on Wednesday have offered their entire workforce the morning off on Monday should England win the Euros.

Composite Prime said they had no choice but to fire Nina Farooqi for lying about travelling to Wembley to watch the Euro semi-final between England and Denmark.

However the company has said it will offer all employees the morning off on Monday if England beat Italy at Wembley on Sunday night.

Farooqi's friend won tickets to the game in a ballot, and the digital content producer said she thought she was unlikely to be granted the day off to attend, due to work being short-staffed. 

She decided to call in sick and hopped on Wednesday's lunchtime train from Leeds to London Kings Cross, before heading to Wembley.

However, when she and her friend got into the ground, they realised their seats were right behind the goal. Though Farooqi worried she might get caught, she decided that in a crowd of 66,000 people it was highly unlikely.

Nina Farooqi was spotted celebrating at the England game on Wednesday (Nina Farooqi)
Nina Farooqi was spotted celebrating at the England game on Wednesday (Nina Farooqi)

But she checked her phone at half time and saw she had been captured on camera celebrating.

"We were all over the news, my face was on every television screen across the world - I had friends from Australia and America telling me they’d seen me," Farooqi told The Telegraph

"I was even on [television presenter] Stacey Dooley's Instagram story. My phone blew up. The whole world had seen me celebrating. The rational part of me thought, 'oh no, is this going to come back to haunt me?'"

Charles Taylor, director at Farooqi's former employer Composite Prime, told Yahoo News UK: “It’s an exciting time for everyone in England and given the opportunity, we would have encouraged attendance to such an important football match. 

"Unfortunately on this occasion our employee lied, taking one day off sick to attend the football match on Wednesday 7 July.

BBC cameras caught Nina Farooqi celebrating after England's first goal on Wednesday (BBC)
BBC cameras caught Nina Farooqi celebrating after England's first goal on Wednesday. (BBC)

Read more: Football fan misses England's Euro 2020 semi-final win to donate life-saving stem cells

"This was in breach of her employment contract and so we had no choice but to take the appropriate action. 

"As a business we value honesty and integrity, and we don't tolerate any employee taking advantage of our policies.

"Like many businesses will be doing across the county, our staff will be having Monday morning off to hopefully recover from celebrating an England win!”

Farooqi says her office job funded her football life, as she also freelances as a photographer and video producer in the men's club game and across the Women's Super League.

Her community of friends in women's football have rallied around her since she lost her job, and have already sourced offers of new freelance work for her. 

"They have all been incredible, and it will be incredible to watch the Euro 2020 final with them on Sunday at home," she said.

A petition calling for Monday to be declared a bank holiday if England win the tournament had garnered more than 300,000 signatures by Friday afternoon.

Any petition that passes 100,000 signatures can be considered and debated by parliament.

Watch: Starmer backs Bank Holiday if England win

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