A stitch in time for the Olympics . . .
15th May 2012
... Comments

If you are preparing for the effects of the Olympics at work, it is easy to focus on homeworking and travel arrangements.  But what about the people who are working?

Some will really want to see some special events on TV.  And some will need to work longer hours to cover colleagues who have needed to change their arrangements.

Taking a few moments to make things clear will save hours of arguments later.

TV at work
• Are you going to provide TV viewing in the workplace?
• If so, make sure you have a TV licence
• Who’s in charge of channel choices?
   o Don’t let dominant individuals bully their colleagues

Talking about the games/events
Not everyone will be supporting Team GB.  If your staff support other teams, they are entitled to do so and everyone should know that.  Don’t let sporting enthusiasm turn into racist or sexist abuse.  Your Equality and Harassment policy applies as much to discussions at work about the ladies basketball or the male gymnasts as it does to any other subject.

Time off during the day to watch events
Are staff breaks going to be reorganised so they can watch specific events?  If they have longer breaks than usual, is there going to be a record of time owed to be worked later, or are you just writing it off?   Who is going to keep the record, and how?   What if there are disputes?    If there are going to be extra hours working to compensate for longer breaks, how is this going to be organised?

How are you going to work out who watches what?  Are you in charge of the ’remote’?

Longer hours working
For some people the games are going to mean longer hours at work, either to cover colleagues, or because extra traffic means work takes longer (delivery drivers would be just one example, but anyone who travels – particularly in Greater London - is likely to be inconvenienced).   Are you going to pay them overtime?  If so, at what rate?  Or are you ‘banking’ the extra time so they can work shorter hours later?  Or are you going to rely on the “additional hours as necessary to fulfil the requirements of the job” clause in your contract (assuming you have that).  Who is recording the time and how?   Workers who are not ‘opted out’ for Working Time Regulations can work up to an average of 48 hours a week.  This means they can exceed 48 hours in any given week provided they still get their statutory breaks, and that their longer hours are not dangerous.

. . . saves nine.

Whatever you plan to do, it is definitely worth having a plan.  Even if you have to adjust your ideas when we see what is actually happening to transport and so on, you’ll be much happier if you have contingency plans in place, and your workers will be happier if they know in advance what to expect at work – even if we’re all not quite sure what to expect on the roads!
Check out our homeworking application and agreement – it is suitable for Olympic homeworking and is easily adaptable to your situation.

Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy
Tel: 08452 303050 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            08452 303050      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Fax: 08452 303060 Website:  www.irenicon.co.uk

About the Author


Member since: 23rd January 2012

My passions in life are employment law, argentine tango and gardening; not necessarily in that order.

I love improvising a solution against complex rules and making it look good - whether it is in business...

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