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17th August 2011

ACAS Provides Olympic Games Advice to Employers

With just under a year to go until the Olympic Games take place in London, ACAS has issued guidance to employers on getting the best from their staff and avoiding absence during the Games.

It has advised that employers should start talking to employees early to manage expectations and minimise the impact on productivity.

In particular, ACAS is encouraging employers to be:

  • Flexible – for example, by altering start and finish times and allowing longer lunch breaks so that staff can watch events during the working day.
  • Clear about what employers expect from their employees in relation to attendance and performance during the Games.
  • Communicative – for example, by talking to employees early on about managing leave and working hours.
  • Honest about how employers will manage changes to working practices and where this isn’t possible to explain the reasons for this.
  • Fair about the way employers respond to requests for time off.

In addition to providing guidance, ACAS Chief Executive John Taylor said:

“Big sporting occasions can present a number of dilemmas for firms who might be worried about the impact of less productive employees or the after effects of lively celebrations.

“Employers need to start planning now to avoid problems later on, check policies and procedures and remind staff how these work in practice.

“If you’ve been lucky enough to get tickets for the Olympics you certainly don’t want to miss out because you failed to book the time off work”.

ACAS guidance on everything from flexible working, time off and managing attendance during the Games can be found at

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