Lawyer warns firms to avoid Olympic pitfalls

A SOLICITOR is advising company bosses to protect themselves from discrimination claims during the Olympics.

Employment law specialist Natalie Aitken said businesses should be aware of multi-cultural issues concerning staff taking time off and supporting different competing countries.

Natalie of Doncaster-based Atteys Solicitors. said if employers gave preferential treatment to employees who request time off to watch Team GB as opposed to other nations, this could give rise to a claim,

“People should also take care when it comes to ‘banter’ when GB are competing against other nations.

“What some people may perceive as a joke could be seen as racial harassment by others, particularly if the comment relates to their country of origin.

“Another thing to watch for is nationalistic memorabilia in offices.If employees are allowed to dress down in clothes such as team GB colours, then other employees of different nationalities should be allowed to dress down in colours of their choice.

“As a general guide, if employers are thinking of celebrating the Olympics at work then they need to ensure these celebrations take into account everyone they employ and their potential preferences, not just the Team GB dimension,” added Natalie.