Skip to content
Hays - Recruiting experts worldwide
  1. I am
    I am


29 May, 2012

More than half of employers are making changes to their working practices during the Olympics to enable staff to work more flexibly or enable them to watch key events at work, new data released today by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows.

Early data from the annual CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning survey*, finds many employers are planning to allow greater flexibility for staff so they can avoid potential transport disruption.

Almost three in ten employers say they will try and accommodate requests from employees to work from home, 17% will extend flexible working opportunities, while 13% will actively encourage staff to work from home.

The survey findings are released as the CIPD launches new guidance on Sporting events and absence management which highlights the range of options employers can consider to minimise disruption to the business and help employees make the most of the Olympics and other sporting events such as the European Football Championships.

Introducing the guidance Rebecca Clake, Research Adviser at CIPD, said:

“There are a range of options available to employers to enable them to balance the requirements of the business with the interests and needs of employees.

“Options such as flexi-time and home working can enable employees in parts of the country likely to face travel disruption as a result of the Olympics to spend their time working rather than stuck in traffic jams or adding to the pressure likely to be faced by our public transport system.

“Of course some employers, for example, those providing public transport, will face additional demands during the Olympics and will have to manage their workforces carefully to ensure there are sufficient staff to deliver services. Our survey shows 35% of public sector employers are planning to restrict leave during the Olympics to cope with this challenge.

“The key for employers is to plan ahead, set out clearly what the organisation’s approach is and the rationale behind this and then apply it consistently.”

The CIPD research found that many employers are also making preparations to allow staff to watch key events in the workplace. Almost a third (31%) of employers will make TVs available in the workplace and 11% will allow employees to view events online on their work computer.

Barney Ely, Director at Hays Human Resources, comments:

"The Olympics is a golden opportunity for UK businesses to review their flexible working policies to ensure they are supporting their staff. Communication is key to ensure both parties clearly understand and adhere to the guidelines around flexible working. By embracing this exciting time companies will benefit from more engaged employees.”

Commenting on this aspect of the findings, Rebecca Clake, Research Adviser at CIPD, said:

“Many employers are making provisions to enable employees to watch key events in the workplace, recognising that the Olympics is an opportunity to build morale and employee engagement.

“Again the key is for employers to communicate very clearly what their policy is, for example, whether employees are allowed to keep track of games online or whether they take a zero-tolerance approach.

“Just as importantly, employers should remind staff of the organisation’s policy on absence and misuse of alcohol, making clear that it is unacceptable to take time off sick, either to watch matches/events or to recover from the aftermath of long evenings in the pub in front of a big screen. It is of course also unacceptable to turn up to work so hung over that you are incapable of doing any work. Employers should make clear there are disciplinary consequences for taking unauthorised time off without good reason or not performing or misbehaving at work.”

* The full findings of the 2012 Resourcing and Talent Planning survey will be launched at the CIPD Recruitment and Resourcing Conference on 20 June 2012.


Notes to Editors

  • Rebecca Clake is available for interview
  • If you wish to reproduce this press release in full on your website, please link back to the original source:
  • The findings quoted in this release are taken from the annual CIPD/Hays Resourcing and Talent Planning survey. The full findings of the 2012 survey of over 500 employers will be launched at the CIPD Recruitment and Resourcing Conference on 20 June 2012. For further information about the survey please contact the CIPD Press Office.
  • The Sporting Events and absence management guidance is available here:
  • The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the world’s largest Chartered HR and development professional body, setting global standards for best practice in HR. With over 135,000 members across 120 countries, the CIPD is focused on supporting and developing those responsible for the management and development of people within organisations.
  • Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2011, the Group employed 7,988 staff operating from 247 offices in 32 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2011:
    - the Group reported net fees of £672 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £114 million;
    - the Group placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 190,000 people into temporary assignments;
    - 31% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 33% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 36% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
    - the temporary placement business represented 54% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 46% of net fees;
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA

CIPD Press Enquiries

Robert Blevin / Katy Askew / Katherine Garrett
Tel: 020 8612 6400

Hays press enquiries
Deepa Bose
T: 0207 259 8821