So we’re ready, set and nearly go as the five coloured rings have hit Tower Bridge and the Olympics Games Lanes are in full flow… Well full in any event.
But what do the Games mean for you and your work?
Here are a few things for you to think about over the next few days…
So you’ve nabbed a job for the summer… Great news! In that case it’s important to keep in mind that it is your responsibility to get to work on time. There is expected to be a great deal of travel disruption during the Games. If you turn up for work late, particularly repeatedly, you may find yourself in a disciplinary hearing or even worse without a job.
Consider your travel arrangements carefully and familiarise yourself with your options. There is plenty of travel information available on the Get Ahead of the Games website so there is no reason for you to get stuck. Also consider cycling or walking to work where possible or explore flexible working options with your employer, for instance working from home or varying your working hours during the games.
If you are one of the lucky folk who have got themselves a ticket to the Games make sure you have booked the time off work or reorganised your shifts accordingly. Again if you don’t show up to work you could end up in a pickle as taking time off during the Games is likely to look a little suspicious. Remember also that your employer does not have to pay you for any period of unauthorised absence.
Having said that employers should have already discussed the above matters with their employees to keep any disruption to a minimum. Nevertheless if you are under two years service you may well have limited protection against dismissal for failing to come into work or arriving at work late so it is better to get these things sorted out rather than take the risk.
You may be asked or expected to work overtime during the Games. Employees who work overtime do not have an automatic right to any additional pay; this will depend on the terms of their contract of employment, or on custom and practice. If there is no provision in your contract for you to be paid extra for working overtime, and there is no established practice of this happening in the past, then your employer does not have to pay you a premium if you do work overtime.
On the other hand you can only be required to work overtime, whether paid or unpaid, if this is provided for in your contract of employment or if you have always worked overtime when required in the past and so it has become custom and practice.
It is often the case that employees are expected to work unpaid overtime from time to time, to meet the reasonable requirements of the business. This is more common for employees in non-manual roles, who are on a salary, than for employees who are paid on an hourly basis.
If you are asked to work overtime during the Games and have never been required to do so before, check your contract of employment to find out where you stand. If there is no provision for overtime or working additional hours when required then you may be in a position to refuse or be able to negotiate a premium for working any additional hours.
Now with that said… Enjoy the Games!
Gemma Brown is an assistant solicitor at TPP Law, a specialist public services law firm. Gemma specialises in employment law. Gemma is membership officer of the London Young Lawyer’s Group.