With only a couple of months to go before the London 2012 Olympic Games commence on 27 July 2012, employers are reminded of the importance of having a clear policy in place to handle last-minute requests for time off work or to work flexibly in order to watch specific events. It is important that employees are made aware of the rules that will apply regarding time off and absence from work and that these are operated in an even-handed way, so as to avoid potential misunderstandings and possible disputes. Staff who have no interest in the Games should not feel that they are expected to cover for those who do if similar arrangements are not made for other types of sporting or cultural event.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service has useful guidance on this topic.
The Olympic Games end on 12 August and the Paralympic Games are being held between 29 August and 9 September. As well as the usual annual sporting events (such as the Wimbledon fortnight between 25 June and 8 July), the finals of the UEFA European Football Championship, which take place every four years, are being hosted by Poland and Ukraine between 8 June and 1 July 2012. Add to this the fact that the late May bank holiday has been moved to Monday 4 June and a special bank holiday is to be held on Tuesday 5 June to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it is set to be a busy summer!
Click here for guidance on dealing with employee absence.