POA Circulars

180 | 22.12.2011

Olympic & Paralympic Games - HR Guidance

The Civil Service, Ministry of Justice and NOMS are due to issue guidance to all departments, offices and prisons to ensure the impact of the Olympic and Paralympic games is managed effectively and does not adversely affect the business. It is vital that local committees engage with management to ensure members have the ability to get time off and comply with the guidance wherever possible.

The timeline of the games will span from mid-May to the end of September 2012 and therefore local arrangements need to be agreed as soon as possible. The Executive accept that the games will have a greater impact on some areas of work.

It is anticipated that a significant number of staff will either require time off to attend the games as a spectator or volunteer to work at the games from within the Civil Service.

All Government departments are required to minimise their travel footprint during the games and staff may find it difficult to travel to and from work if they are in the vicinity of the games or events. Therefore, local arrangements need to be agreed to reduce the Government’s footprint and ensure staff can travel to and from work as required.

Staff will obviously be keen to take time off during the games or adversely bank annual leave to cover shortfalls. The guidance will set out arrangements which can accommodate these issues.

In the run up to the games, staff may wish to work additional hours to facilitate time off during the games. Again, the guidance covers these arrangements.

The Executive believe that prisons within the vicinity of the games or events may wish to agree temporary shift patterns with compressed working hours to deal with time off, travel arrangements and reducing the Service’s travel footprint. For example, a three or four day working week, without leave abatement.

Again, the Executive reiterate the importance of local committees to engage with managers to establish local protocols, temporary shift patterns, safe systems of work, contingency plans and risk assessments to ensure the day to day operation of their prison (or place of work) is safe during the Olympic and Paralympic games.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation.


Yours sincerely


General Secretary