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Warning over managing Olympic time off

27 July 2011

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Firms are being reminded to start planning for the Olympic Games by telling staff they can have longer lunch breaks and work flexibly to avoid high absence levels.

The conciliation service Acas said employers should start talking to workers as early as possible to minimise the impact on productivity because of the expected high demand from employees to watch events.

Acas encouraged firms to be as flexible as possible, change start and finish times, allow longer lunch breaks and respond fairly to requests for time off, adding that people who had bought tickets should book their holidays as quickly as possible.

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.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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“Who are they kidding? Reduce service to consumers so staff can watch sport? Repeats reruns sports analysis on news programmes. A lot of people will be glad to be protected from it!” – Name and address withheld