1. Olympic volunteers
The Games will be supported by 70,000 volunteers (referred to as “Games Makers”), who will work in a range of generalist and specialist roles. Games Makers commit to devoting three training days and 10 days during the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games, or a minimum of 20 days if they are volunteering for both. Employers need to be prepared for employees requesting time off to volunteer and might consider introducing a specific policy.
- What should employers include in a policy on volunteering for the Olympic Games?
- What are the options for employers when employees request time off to volunteer for the 2012 Olympics?
- What are the potential advantages for employers that adopt a supportive approach to employees who want to volunteer for the 2012 Olympics?
Although it is unlikely to cause the level of disruption employers face during football World Cups, there are likely to be times during the Olympics when employees are going to want to follow events at work. Employers need to consider their approach to employees following events at work, and review any policies on sporting events, to ensure that employees know what is expected of them, and that any measures are fair to all employees.
- Should employers adopt a sporting events policy and what should it include?
- How should employers deal with employees who spend work time following the Olympics on the internet?
- What action can employers take in advance of the Olympic Games to discourage absenteeism?
London-based employers, and employers in areas outside London that host events, need to be aware of the potential for travel disruption during the Olympics and Paralympics. London-based employees are very likely to face disruptions to their journeys to and from work during the Games, and employers may wish to consider measures that will alleviate their difficulties, such as working from home. The London 2012 website gives the following ominous warning: “transport networks will be incredibly busy”.
- Can employees be required to work from home if the transport system is disrupted because of the Olympic Games?
- Is an employer required to pay employees who arrive late or do not arrive at all due to disruptions to public transport?
The combination of employees volunteering for the Games, attending events and watching events could result in employers being subject to more holiday requests than they can grant during the Games. Employers need to be prepared to deal with leave requests in a fair and proportionate way, and for problems that could result from refusal of requests.
- How should employers deal with competing requests for time off to attend or volunteer at the Olympic Games?
- Can an employer refuse holiday requests during a particular period?
- Can an employer require its employees to take holiday at a particular time?