Ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics opening ceremony tonight, the TUC has published guidance for bosses whose staff want to watch events during their normal working hours.

The TUC suggests that bosses talk to their employees in advance about arrangements for events they want to see and arrange for their staff to watch the key events from the Olympics somewhere on the company’s premises, if appropriate. They also suggest allowing staff to work from home on days when key events are happening and allowing staff to work flexibly and to come in early or later to finish their shifts and to be as flexible as possible with annual leave requests.

The TUC believes that flexible working has real benefits for businesses and their workforces. Many workplaces operate flexitime, letting staff come in early and go home early, or to get into work late and leave the office later.

Olympic events start at various times, with some highlights likely to include British competitors happening in standard office hours,  like the rowing finals stating at 12.30pm, equestrian finals at 2pm and the men’s doubles tennis final at 4pm.

But it will not just be sports fans who work daytime and weekday hours who are affected. More than one in five UK employees (5.8 million people) work evenings and weekends, and many will want to watch their national sporting heroes take part in the Olympics.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Millions of workers around the UK will want to see Team GB in action at the Rio Olympics.

“To avoid any problems bosses should talk to their staff and try and let people who want to watch important events in the Olympics do so, either at work or at home – and then put their hours in afterwards.

“Allowing people more flexibility in how and when they do their work makes them happier, cutting absenteeism and raising productivity. Good luck Team GB!”





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.