Nugget 34 – Are you running the Olympic risk?

Watching the Olympics at work may annoy the boss, but not as much as the £1,000 fine the company could get if they don’t have a TV licence.


Watching live telly in the UK requires a licence regardless of whether that video arrives over the internet or is broadcast. The TV tax collectors have provided a useful cut-out-and-pin-on-the-wall guide for all those who’d prefer to avoid shelling out after the fact.


There is an exemption for battery-powered devices at work if they are owned and used by someone who holds a TV licence at their home address, so keep your laptop unplugged and you’re in the clear – legally at least, we can’t comment on how your boss will react.


The pin-up below provides tick boxes from which employees can be informed of their legal and procedural rights to watch the games at work. Download your’s now to let your employees know.


Keeping a laptop going for an extended period could be a challenge, and we suggest avoiding doing any real work that might unnecessarily drain the battery. The rules state that a device must be entirely battery powered, so inductive charging is out, but one can use as many additional batteries as necessary.


Alternatively one could just watch the games on non-live iPlayer or another suitable catch-up service. Current licensing legislation doesn’t cover such services – just real-time feeds – but then who wants to watch the BMX finals or the Greco-Roman Wrestling (or whatever it is these days) long after everyone else knows how it all ends?