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2012 – the Year of Sport

At the beginning of May the Government confirmed it would be temporarily lifting the Sunday opening hour restrictions* for large shops during the Olympic and Paralympic games.

This temporarily lift will begin on 22nd July and will be repealed on 9th September. As an employer you need to understand that workers will still keep all their legal rights for example, dependent on their contract of employment, they will still have the right to opt out of Sunday working.

Even without Government changes, many businesses are going to be subject to an increased volume of holiday requests over the summer months. You need to ensure that you have a strategy in place so that business productivity and profit are not affected.

However, this is an exciting time for all sporting fans so where possible you should try and accommodate staff requests. The effect on morale could impact your business so try to be fair and consistent.

Think about implementing temporary changes to your working practices; more flexibility in working hours, longer lunches and finishing later; or allowing employees to watch key events at work.

This allows you to balance the business needs whilst still taking into account the interests of your employees.

As an employer you must ensure that staff understand these changes will be temporary and that all other business policies on absence and behaviour are still in place.

 Communication is key to ensure that your staff understand what is expected of them and that there will still be disciplinary procedures in place if they behave inappropriately at work or take unauthorised absences.

For more help on employee engagement and social policies, please contact

*These restrictions only affect England and Wales as they are currently limited to opening times of six hours between 10am and 6pm on Sundays.

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