Advice for Employers during the Olympic Games


Big sporting events often present dilemmas for Employers who need to maintain a healthy and productive staffing level.
With the Rio games taking place between the 5th and 21st August 2016, Acas has issued guidance for those Employers who are concerned about the potential impact and problems that could arise.
We summarise some of the key points from the Acas guidance:
Flexibility
Whether or not you currently operate a flexible working policy, it may be something to consider as a short term measure throughout the period of the Olympic Games. Employees could for example be permitted to come in a little later or finish sooner, provided that the time is later made up.
Allowing staff to watch some of the more popular events at work or listen to the radio might be another option.
It is important to remember the importance of applying a fair and consistent policy during this period.
Time off
Employees may wish to take time off to watch some of the sporting events. Whilst normally Employers require annual leave to be booked well in advance of the event, they may choose to relax the rules during this time, in order to consider late requests for work.
Again, it is important for Employers to try to be fair and consistent when allowing time off. The games coincide with the summer holiday period so employers may also be receiving requests from parents who are trying to balance work and childcare. Employers may wish to adopt a “first come first served” policy for booking leave during this period.
Sickness Absence
Levels of attendance should be monitored carefully during this time and if there is a pattern of unauthorised absence noted then it could result in formal proceedings.
Use of Social Media and Websites
To avoid employees making increased use of their own personal devices and/or work equipment to watch coverage of the games, Employers may wish to remind staff of their social media and use of internet policies.