Olympic Measures - Handling employees' leave in 2012

3 mins

Posted on 10 Aug 2011

By now employers will be accustomed to the various challenges which present themselves in the work place whenever any sporting event of international interest takes place but in 2012 an Olympian effort (sorry!) may be required.The 2012 Summer Olympics will open on 27 July 2012 in London with the majority of the 26 sports which feature in the games taking place in east London (Stratford) and at other venues dotted around the capital over the following two weeks.Given the number of tickets that were sold during the, now legendary, bidding process it is likely that employers will see a spike in requests for annual leave during this period.  However, as the Olympics coincide with the most common time for employees to take annual leave, special consideration may need to be given in advance so that those who want to take a day or two off here and there are not prevented from doing so by virtue of the fact that so many others have been granted two consecutive weeks off over the same period.  Ultimately, employers will need to have a fair system in place which does not treat any one group less favourably than another. But it doesn’t end there.  In spite of Transport for London’s (and the Mayor’s) promises that the Capital’s transportation network is up to the task, employers and employees need to consider the likelihood that the road, rail, tube and bus networks will be under heavy strain as visitors from around the globe converge for the main event. Flexible hours, remote access and working from home may play an important part in averting the risk of transport delays.  It is expected that the event which will be watched by the highest number of people (both at the venue and on television) will be the men’s 100m finals and employers can breathe a sigh of relief that this will take place on Sunday, 5 August.  However, many events will be taking place during the normal working week and during normal hours.  It may therefore be sensible to provide TV facilities for staff who haven’t obtained tickets but still want to watch some events.  A sensible policy may already be in force or could be introduced to set out any conditions attached to the use of any such facilities as well as ensuring that the businesses needs always come first.

This article was written by solicitor Eleanor Rogers

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