With the deadline for Olympic Games volunteering applications just weeks away, thousands of employers are facing up to the challenge of dealing without key employees for up to 23 days in two years' time.
Applications close on 27 October, and the London 2012 Olympics Organising Committee (LOCOG) is hoping that 70,000 people will sign up to be "Games Maker" volunteers for the Games. However, more than 100,000 volunteer applications have already been made to date.
These Games Makers will consist of generalist and specialist volunteers working across a range of disciplines, from press and anti-doping, to drivers, desk staff and event stewards.
A LOCOG spokesperson said that the volunteer application scheme had so far been successful: "We are pleased with the current levels of interest. We're currently halfway through the application process and we will have some numbers confirmed in the next few weeks."
Games Maker volunteers must dedicate a minimum of 10 days to work at the Games, or a minimum of 20 days if they also wish to work at the Paralympic Games. Volunteers must also attend three days of training prior to the start of the Games.
In addition to the 70,000 Olympic volunteers, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is hoping to recruit a further 8,000 people to act as "London Ambassadors" at major transport and tourist venues in London during the Olympics, to help the increased numbers of visitors to find their way around the city.
Members of Personnel Today Plus can access a model policy on this topic here.
LOCOG has made resources available to employers whose staff might want to volunteer for the Games, and these resources are available at the Olympics volunteering website.