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    1. #1
      is free!! Cymber
      Location
      Devon
      Posts
      9,932

      Just how far can a workplace dictate when you take your annual leave?

      Obviously I understand in particular jobs - teaching springs to mind - workplaces understandably dictate when you can and can't take annual leave. But generally can a workplace say whatever they want as to when you take annual leave?

      My workplace is saying that we are not allowed to take any A/L in the school holidays, except for 1 week in the big summer holiday. Which means I won't be going on holiday next year, as I can't afford the inflated costs charged in August, and I can't take my kids out of school (exam period). Yes, I know holidays aren't essential!!

      When I started working there this wasn't the case, but recent pressures (less staff due to budget cuts etc) have led to this decision being made. It wasn't laid out to me when I was interviewed for the job, I believe it is my manager's own rule, rather than a organisation rule iykwim?

      I've spoken to HR and they're saying that the service needs are paramount, but that staff must be allowed to take their leave (or some such words). I haven't spoken to my union yet.

      I've had a friend saying to me 'they can't tell you when you can and can't take your A/L', but can they? I've also had another friend mention family friendly working conditions or something, and mutter discrimination.

      Any advice about legislation? Or how to approach this with my manager?
      The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.

    2. #2
      Mum to 3 wonderful kids Cat Queen
      Location
      Manchester
      Posts
      2,291

      Re: Just how far can a workplace dictate when you take your annual leave?

      I work for a uni and we arent allowed to take AL at certain periods due to the nature of our business, so intake time, exam period etc. Having said that, it has always been like that so I wasnt sprung onto me like your situation appears to have been. Have they got some sort of official written policy? I would speak to my union if i was uncertain.

    3. #3
      Invisable Chell
      Location
      Northants
      Posts
      15,046

      Re: Just how far can a workplace dictate when you take your annual leave?

      I Googled the law regarding this a while ago and I don't think you have a right to chose your holiday at all.
      DS July 2003, DD1 January 2005, DD2 August 2008

    4. #4
      Grinchy Old Carp
      Location
      In a pair of size 12 trousers!
      Posts
      9,396

      Re: Just how far can a workplace dictate when you take your annual leave?

      I think it would depend on your terms and conditions that are part of your contract? I work for a local authority and recently they have become much tighter about approving annual leave - not that they will stop you taking it but that they will consider service needs and work loads etc. I have to do it for my staff now and it is not popular but we can't afford any cover, nor to let things slip
      Fifi x

      My little lollipop is six years old

    5. #5

      Re: Just how far can a workplace dictate when you take your annual leave?

      I work for a bank and we have to use 2 weeks of our annual leave in one chunk every year (but is allowed to include bank hols) so it just has to be 2 weeks off. I believe its quite common in banking (or so Im told!) but it is a bit of a pain! We were a financial services company taken over by a bank about 6 years ago but they have only enforced that 2 week rule in the last few years. No negotiation, just new rule.

      A friend of mine works in retail and isnt allowed any holidays between november the something to mid Jan to cope with xmas


      ETA - in our call centres holidays are always decided based on resource requirements based on the call forecast, people get hols declined all the time and at xmas they do it on a raffle type basis to make sure its all fair

    6. #6
      TVoR, QoN, etc. redhed
      Posts
      11,981
      Yes the two week rule is standard in banking. It's an anti fraud thing - famously lots of scams get discovered when someone goes on holiday and the office gets a phone call saying actually can they deliver the big sack of cash to a different location this week, and the office say: "Big bag of cash... What big bag of cash...?"

      I think these sorts of tweaks to conditions are a bit of a legal grey area. My gut feel is that they could get away with the change if it were necessary for the business, but there are almost certainly other ways of dealing with their holiday cover problem which should put them in a weaker position. I think its one for acas.

      Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk
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    7. #7
      Damsel Diva
      Location
      Birmingham
      Posts
      3,508

      Re: Just how far can a workplace dictate when you take your annual leave?

      yup, I work for a bank too and we have the two week rule - as redhed explained it's an anti-fraud thing, I have been allowed to split mine on a couple of occasions though.

      I'm pretty sure that legally you are entitled to XXX amount of holiday - but when you take it can be dictated (not great word but ykwim) by your employer. Lots of factories/businesses have set shut down weeks.

      Where I work, you can choose your holiday, but if too many people are off/it's a busy time you won't necessarily get your choice. We do make every effort to accommodate where we can though - not in any company's interests to have staff at work who are p!ssed off about holiday - employee engagement/satisfaction and all that....

      Mrs N x


    8. #8
      Damsel Diva Velvet Chain
      Location
      Wiltshire
      Posts
      8,125

      Re: Just how far can a workplace dictate when you take your annual leave?

      A long time ago I worked as an Insurance Broker and no members of staff were allowed to take holidays during July or August because of the new cars to be insured at the beginning of August (we did used to be really flat busy at that time). It was perfectly legal as the company genuinly needed the full staff at that time.

      It was very hard on the parents that worked there as effectively they couldn't be with their children for the whole of the summer holiday.

    9. #9
      la la la I can't hear you Jelly
      Location
      Wales
      Posts
      16,956

      Re: Just how far can a workplace dictate when you take your annual leave?

      What the others have said, really. You're entiteld to x number of days holiday per year but it's up to the company to decide when you can take them. It's not discrimination to not allow parents to take holidays out of term time (though it would be if they were allowed to take them in Aug purely because they were parents, IYSWIM).

      I'd speak with your manager to see if there's anything that can be done. Maybe if you volunteer to work over Christmas or something they might look more kindly on your request.

    10. #10
      Just me being me!
      Location
      By the sea :-)
      Posts
      15,081

      Re: Just how far can a workplace dictate when you take your annual leave?

      I agree, I think a lot of companies can dictate when holidays are taken. I think it's usually more in the form of guidance (ie no more than 1 week in the peak summer & no more than one department member absent at a time etc). I would expect to see it in the terms and conditions if they want to enforce it, or at least in writing.

      If it's not a shut down, can you swap with a colleague?

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