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Rediff.com  » News » Licence to chill: UK 'babus' take OLYMPIC break

Licence to chill: UK 'babus' take OLYMPIC break

Last updated on: May 16, 2012 17:57 IST

UK 'babus' take OLYMPIC break

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While the whole world is waiting for the London Olympics -- the biggest sporting extravaganza on the planet -- civil servants in Britain may be awaiting the Games a tad more eagerly than others.

Thousands of tourists, spectators and sports persons are expected to congregate in the crowded British capital to be part of the Olympics. And the United Kingdom government is pulling out all stops to ensure that the Games turn out to be a blockbuster affair.

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Image: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron plays a game of badminton in the garden of 10 Downing Street with school athletes and London 2012 Organising Committee chairman Sebastian Coe
Photographs: Kerim Okten/Reuters

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UK 'babus' take OLYMPIC break

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In a first of its kind measure, the British government has allowed its officials to work from home for a whopping seven weeks, in view of the upcoming Games.

Thousands of British babus based in London will have an option of working from home from July 21 till September 9.

While the Olympic Games begins on July 27 and ends on August 12, the Summer Paralympic Games will be held from August 29 till September 9.

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Image: Floodlights illuminate a worker after Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron switched on the floodlights of the Olympic stadium at the Olympic park in Stratford, east London
Photographs: Rebecca Naden/Reuters
Tags: OLYMPIC , London , British , UK

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UK 'babus' take OLYMPIC break

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The seven week "work from home" period also coincides with the summer break in schools as well as the period when Parliament is not in session.

Civil servants have also been advised to "cut or change" 50 per cent of their travel plans to Whitehall, where the main offices of the British administration are located. They have also been asked to cut down on mail delivery and other such services.

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Image: Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for the 'Our Greatest Team Rises' event to celebrate TeamGB and ParalympicsGB at the Royal Albert Hall in central London
Photographs: Alastair Grant/Reuters

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UK 'babus' take OLYMPIC break

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This is being done to prevent the arterial roads and thoroughfares from being jammed to capacity during the Olympics. But such directives may hit everyday administrative services adversely in Whitehall, fear business leaders.

Some top business honchos and corporate leaders have expressed the fear that such directives by the government may be interpreted as an official licensee to "take things easy" by the eager civil servants.

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Image: Police officers look through apertures in a mobile steel cordon at the entrance to Whitehall, during a protest march, in central London
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters
Tags: OLYMPIC , UK , Whitehall

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UK 'babus' take OLYMPIC break

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Seven week was too long a period to be "slacking", they have pointed out, adding that this will not help the nation's struggle with recession.

Some of them have wryly pointed out that Whitehall was not exactly known for its efficiency and competent handling of issues at the best of times. A seven-week period when the government worked only half-heartedly was hardly going to improve the situation, they warned.

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Image: The London skyline is seen from the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the London 2012 Olympic Park in east London
Photographs: Ki Price/Reuters
Tags: OLYMPIC , Whitehall , UK

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