Olympic torch fails to ignite passion for sport in the workplace

Britain’s
athletes may be battling for Olympic gold this summer, but the competition
appears to have provoked very little interest in the nation’s workplaces,
according to a survey by IRS Employment Review.

The
IRS research reveals that just nine out of 81 organisations contacted intend to
make any sort of special arrangements to allow their employees to watch events
in Athens.

The
low-key approach is in marked contrast to the football World Cup of 2002 and
Euro 2004, when many employers changed shift patterns and provided large-screen
televisions and even refreshments for people wanting to watch the England
team’s progress throughout the competitions.

IRS
Employment Review managing editor, Mark Crail said: “It’s clear that while some
employers have made arrangements for their staff to watch British athletes in
action, most are unconcerned at the prospect of people staying away from work
to watch the Olympics. “

However,
if British teams or individuals do particularly well, it will be interesting to
see whether employers have to make last-minute concessions for staff.”

The
research, conducted in June 2004, is based on a survey of 81 HR departments
together employing more than 70,000 people.

www.irsemploymentreview.com

By Quentin Reade

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