60 per cent have not yet told staff of plans.

Six out of ten employers are yet to tell staff what arrangements will be in place for taking leave during the Olympics, a survey has found.

As the countdown to the Games reaches 100 days, a poll of 1000 workers by recruitment consultants Badenoch & Clark has found that 60 per cent are still waiting to be informed of any official leave policy for those wishing to attend events. Not surprisingly, employers in London have been most organised (42 per cent) while those in Scotland were least likely to have arrangements in place (77 per cent).

Of those that do have a policy in place, the most popular approach is ‘first come, first served’, while a minority have disallowed annual leave on certain key dates. Most have taken a more nuanced approach.
“The 2012 Games seem to have come round too quickly for many businesses and with only 100 days to go, employers need to seriously start considering their official leave policy,” said Nicola Linkleter, managing director of Badenoch & Clark.

“Given the immense interest the 2012 Games will create across the country and with many employees planning to attend key events, poor business planning could lead to employee discontent, confusion or empty offices. If it transpires that lots of people have booked off the same period of annual leave or choose to take a ‘sickie’ due to uncertainty over leave, offices could be seriously understaffed.

“Our research back in July 2011 suggested that one in six (16 per cent) employees would consider taking a ‘sickie’ to watch London 2012 due to a lack of clarity over leave policy. It is therefore important that employers firm up annual leave policies and contingency plans for possible staff shortfalls and communicate these policies to employees sooner rather than later.”