The Olympic Games 2012, which run from 27 July to 12 August will soon be upon us and will be closely followed by the Paralympic Games from 29 August to 9 September. With many of us now primed to view the greatest sporting spectacle on earth, the need for businesses to make the necessary preparations for the Games has fallen under the spotlight.
Perhaps the most obvious effect upon businesses during the Games is the extra strain placed upon London’s already busy transport system. This is likely to cause significant disruption to businesses that have sites in and around London with disruption to commercial deliveries and employee travel plans. Transport for London has recently published guidance for businesses to help them deal with this potential disruption.
One step which businesses should consider taking is revising their staff handbook so as to include specific clauses dealing with what should happen if employees cannot make it into work because of travel disruption. Businesses could also consider altering their business hours to enable employees to work more flexibly during the Games, thereby avoiding disruption to employee’s normal commuting patterns and consideration should be given to whether home-working can be implemented. In deciding whether home-working could work for a business you would need to carefully consider the benefits, drawbacks and practicalities that need to be addressed when allowing an employee to work full or part time from home.
One way around implementing such policies could be enabling your employees to watch Games events on television at work during normal business hours. Whilst some employees may not be bothered about London 2012, many are likely to have a keen interest. This may seem a simple solution in comparison to the above suggestions. However, businesses should tread carefully. Certain problems could arise from such a practice including productivity falling as employees become distracted by the events on television and, depending upon the nature of your business, it may draw criticism from customers. Therefore, if you plan to allow staff to get into the spirit of Games, you should make clear that the Games can only be viewed during break times.
One other major factor which businesses are unlikely to consider is the legal requirement for a TV licence. If you already have a television on the premises this should already be dealt with but assuming you do not, staff are likely to be tempted to bring in laptops or other personal devices allowing them to watch television. You should be aware that if your premises’ does not hold a valid TV licence and staff were to plug their devices into the mains, you could face a fine of up to £1,000, with an enforcement drive planned this summer.
If you are in business and looking for practical commercial employment advice then please contact Nick Attwell
on 01473 746000
or e-mail Nick at email@example.com
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