In a recent poll by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP), half of the employers surveyed said they are not planning to allow flexible working for the 2012 Olympics.

Just 10% said they will be allowing flexible working for the Olympics next year. The remaining 40% are still unsure of what their plans are.

Diana Bruce, senior policy liaison officer at the CIPP, said: “Although employees have the right to request flexible working, they do not have the right to receive it. For an employee to be granted flexible working they will need to have worked at their organisation for at least 26 weeks and not to have made any previous requests for flexible working in the past 12 months.”

She added: “The Olympics is a very significant occasion for the UK and the majority of individuals are likely to want to take time out to see certain events. Employers need to start thinking now about putting policies in place as to how they will handle, amongst other things, additional annual leave requests.

“Flexible working may well be the answer, even if only as a temporary measure, and this will take time to set up and implement so planning early is essential. The boost to staff morale can only be good for business and allowing flexible working may well help to reduce the inevitable staff sickies.”