How should employers deal with requests for time off to watch key events during the Olympic Games or other major sporting events?

There is no legal requirement for employers to give employees time off to watch major sporting events such as the Olympic Games or the football World Cup. Whether or not to grant time off is a matter for employers to consider, taking into account the needs of the business. During key sporting events, some employers operate a "business as usual" approach whereby employees who want to take time off must request annual leave in the usual way. At the other end of the scale, some employers screen key matches or events at the workplace and allow employees to watch them while they are at work. Where flexible working practices exist, employees may be able to work around the events that they want to watch and make up lost time. Some employers may consider a period of flexible working to accommodate key events.