By Max Clarke

Half of employers are not planning to offer flexible working hours to their employees during the 2012 Olympics, despite government recommendations for workers to work from home where possible to ease transport congestion.

Just 10 per cent of employers will be allowing flexible working for the Olympics next year, a poll by the Chartered Institute of Payment Professionals reveals, which may suggest employers could be dealing with record levels of sickness during this time.

“Although employees have the right to request it,” says Diana Bruce, Senior Policy Liaison Officer at the CIPP, ”they do not have the right to receive it. For an employee to be granted flexible working they will need to have worked at their organisation for at least 26 weeks and not to have made any previous requests for flexible working in the past 12 months”.

This news will come in handy for some as less than half of employees polled said that they do not know if their employer is allowing flexible time.

With an estimated global audience of 4 billion for the London 2012 Olympics, Diana Bruce also adds that “The Olympics is a very significant occasion for the UK and the majority of individuals are likely to want to take time out to see certain events. Employers need to start thinking now about putting policies in place as to how they will handle, amongst other things, additional annual leave requests.

Flexible working may well be the answer, even if only as a temporary measure, and this will take time to set up and implement so planning early is essential. The boost to staff morale can only be good for business and allowing flexible working may well help to reduce the inevitable staff sickies.”

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