Olympics 2012 FAQs

Following our members meeting about the Olympics in March we have received several questions from members. We’ve compiled the questions in to the table below and provided answers where possible. Please note that these answers aren’t necessarily set in stone or reflective of policy – they’re the best we can do with the information we have available at the moment.

The table will be updated as more questions and answers crop up.

Read more about the Olympics on our deticated page: http://pcseuston.org.uk/olympics-2012

Question Response
What does DAL stand for & what has been agreed as the POP didn’t ask if there were any disability issues? Disability Adjustment Leave (DAL). Nothing has been agreed so far.
We’re going to hold a meeting to specifically cover issues for mobility impaired/disabled members
Will the Walthamstow office (6-10 Church Hill, London, E17 3RY) be an option? Need to get a list of which offices will be available from HMRC.
Are the POPs set in stone or can they be changed on the day.  They are just a guide to help planning and are neither compulsory or binding, though we do recommend members complete them.
If I am not wanted in London can I have paid Special Leave because I shall need the rest of my leave for family events and child care.  This is a priority question for us as a branch. We have asked senior management if any provisions have been made for staff with caring responsibilities and dependents, we are currently awaiting a response
What happens if due to transport problems you can’t get in and have to turn back home? Do you get credit? Still under negotiation.
A member’s just reported to me that they were pressurised to put changes against at least 50% of the days covered “to show willing”. The member had originally put “no change” for the entire period. I think there might be some muddle there arising from something called the 50% Change Commitment. POPPs are just a guide to help planning and are neither compulsory or binding, though we do recommend members complete them.
Notwithstanding that the IMS capability for homeworking is maxed out, and notwithstanding that some business unit heads are being less flexible than others about home working, aren’t there health and safety issues to consider? I’m thinking not only in terms of the physical challenge of carrying a laptop home, with any necessary documents and reference books (eg CCH/ Tolly’s) that may be needed, but also in terms of home environment. DSE assessments may be needed, for example. Also, will HMRC cover additional travel costs (eg buses or taxis) to enable quantities of work to be taken home? We are in no doubt that the Olympics will have an impact on Health And Safety, that’s why we want members to complete the POPPs. Any specific issues relating to Health And Safety need to be raised first  with your local H&S rep, every PCS noticeboard has a list of the local H&S reps. If you do not have a H&S rep on your floor, approach your local PCS rep and they will advise.
As HMRC have given a commitment to make changes in 50% of journeys, this begins to sound like a target rather than an ambition. Although HMRC at the top may not see it this way, business unit heads and individual managers may. This could lead to undue pressure being put on staff to change their ways. In some business streams, individuals may try to pressure staff , in that situation, please inform your local PCS rep 
Forward planning is clearly necessary, and credit should be given for the work Tim has been engaged to undertake. However, when completing POPs, it’s very difficult to determine so far in advance whether it’s possible to work at home or in another office during a particular week or on a particular day. Work that could be done at home can’t necessarily be held over just to please the Olympic target. Deadlines prevail. I appreciate that the POP is fluid, but in practice, I’ll know whether I can work at home or in another office only shortly before the day or days concerned. I don’t know how this squares with the understandable need to pre-apply for space in another office. All of us will be facing a similar problem to yours and quite frankly no-one knows the answer as this is such a unique situation. PCS are investigating the issue of credits for delayed journeys and we are asking members to complete their POPPs in order to provide the evidence needed to pursue local negotiations. We asked Tim at the Olympics meeting to organise a test for Euston Tower staff which allows staff to test alternatives routes and times into work. The test has been tried on 100PS, Somerset House and Kingsway and management are reporting a 65% success rate. The PCS branch at 100PS is currently waiting for the data to carry out their own analysis
Who is the NEC member with the  responsibilty  of  the “Olympics”  and an update required Chris Bough
Can we provide copies of the charts on the walls? We have contacted HMRC.

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