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Am I being unreasonable

(28 Posts)
Tessa101 Mon 16-Oct-17 15:35:57

Hope I’ve posted this in correct place.
Feeling really low at the moment.
Here goes... my youngest DD and family live in Australia and I booked a ticket to go and spend Christmas with them leaving 22nd December back on 19th January. However my employers are not authorising my time off due to me working in retail and it being our busiest time. Our contract says we are only allowed to have extended leave once in 5 years and I’ve already used this up when I visited them in 2015. I work 10 hours a week for a large greeting card company who franchises in a well known supermarket. I have arranged cover whilst away with a buddy and non of my work colleagues have any issues with me taking this time off. I’ve been with the company 12 years and rarely had time off and I’ve got 5 weeks holiday free to use.Ive been informed by my manager that I will have to leave the company and she is going to advertise my job.Im 61 and single and don’t feel I’m asking got to much maybe I’m asking them to be more understanding but this has taken the edge of the excitement of going to visit them. My DD and I have spoke and she is concerned about me loosing my job and we both ended up in tears. Should I just think sod it im not getting any younger and one day may not be fit enough to make a 23 hour flight alone or am I being unreasonable.

Margsus Mon 16-Oct-17 15:46:38

I'm a great believer in the "sod it" factor! If I were you I'd make the trip - if you don't, you'll regret it later. Good luck x

paddyann Mon 16-Oct-17 15:47:06

take it up with the union ,if you've been there 12 years you have workers rights and I'm sure one christmas off in 12 years isn't a sackable offence .You could have just let them think you were sick so at least you were upfront with them.

Iam64 Mon 16-Oct-17 15:47:23

I wonder if your manager is irritated that you don't seem to have sought permission to take leave at this busy time in retail, before booking your ticket.

Iam64 Mon 16-Oct-17 15:48:55

Sorry - posted too soon. I don't believe you are being unreasonable, you organised cover. Some managers enjoy their power rather too much. Best of luck in sorting it out.

Ilovecheese Mon 16-Oct-17 15:52:03

Good suggestion from paddyann
If they can't help, or if you are not a member, then you will surely be able to pick up ten hours a week from another company on your return from Australia.

tanith Mon 16-Oct-17 15:59:36

I'd just go regardless unless you really need the job for financial reasons.

M0nica Mon 16-Oct-17 16:22:43

Your terms of employment were clear and you knew what they were before booking this holiday. Why didn't you find out your employers attitude before planning this holiday? You may have arranged cover but once one person manipulates the rules others start doing it as well.

At your age a new job may not be easy to get so is it so important that you go over for Christmas? Couldn't you renegotiate to go over later in January or February when trade is quieter. It will still be summer in Australia, so you will not miss out on the sunshine and high temperatures.

Anya Mon 16-Oct-17 16:55:52

I think the ticket is already booked Monica - I too wondered about the wisdom of doing this before getting the all clear from work, especially at a busy time of year, though I would have thought that by December 22nd the busy season would be tailing off a bit and greetings cards would have been already dispatched to the supermarket in question.

Having shown no tact or respect to your manager by booking this without permission, you now need to exercise all your powers of grovel/persuasion. Acknowledge your fault, explain that you have arranged cover and ask for your manager to please grant you this.

Tessa101 Tue 17-Oct-17 11:03:16

Thank you for your replies, I do feel she has taken offence to the fact that I booked it first before getting permission. So now she’s digging her heels in. Christmas is all about selling down at that late a date in December that’s why I decided to go then, I received a formal letter from her this morning and I’m going to CAB to see where I stand as she’s not stated she’s sacking me it says there will be disciplinary action if I don’t attend work on week commencing 22nd ( my flight date). By time she’s advertised my job and trained someone over the holiday period I will be back from oz so I’m hoping my value to the company will be noticed by then. Thank you again I’ve taken on board all your comments.

glammanana Tue 17-Oct-17 11:22:29

Tessa Go on your holiday and enjoy your time with your family after the 12yrs service you have faithfully given the Company you deserve it,your manager is smarting because you have sorted the staff shortage yourself and not gone to her first which I can understand to a certain extent but it is not the end of the world.
You say you work within a Supermarket chain surely there must be work available there for 12/16hrs a week ask some of the ladies who work there and get an application form in if push comes to shove. Also run the scenario past your PR department and get their thoughts the AM may not have informed them of your holiday request.Good luck and enjoy your time away.

Charleygirl Tue 17-Oct-17 11:29:18

I am with tanith on this one. Think twice if finance could be a problem.

Nonnie Tue 17-Oct-17 12:30:17

I'm sorry but I think you really should have thought about this before booking the ticket. Your manager may well be thinking that if she allows this she is opening the floodgates for others to ignore their contract. She isn't just managing you, she is managing a team. If disciplinary action means she doesn't sack you it may well be a message to the rest of the team that they cannot do the same.

I think you should try to see this from your manager's point of view as well as your own.

ninathenana Tue 17-Oct-17 12:34:00

Surely the Christmas rush will be over by 22nd Dec. I agree it would have been best to ask first.
As the OP says she is single I would assume she needs to work. Sorry if that offends anyone.

Jalima1108 Tue 17-Oct-17 15:30:15

It would have been more advisable to check with your manager first before booking your flight; however, I think that her reaction is rather draconian and probably because she is annoyed because you didn't run it past her first.

Could you change your flights? There is usually a small charge for doing so but you could have a lovely celebration in the New Year with your Australian family instead.

Jalima1108 Tue 17-Oct-17 15:33:11

ps anyone buying Christmas cards from 22nd December onwards is rather disorganised and the last posting date is probably before then anyway (the 19th I think) unless they send the cards by Special Delivery.

Crafting Tue 17-Oct-17 16:01:12

Sorry but rules are rules. When you say you've arranged cover does that mean that your employer has to pay you for your 5 week holiday and pay the person you have arranged to cover you for the 5 weeks too. What about other staff members who want extended leave.

I used to work with someone who always wanted long holidays to visit family in Australia and wanted the time off every other year. This meant that other staff could not have leave during the long period she was away as only 2 people were allowed off at the same time. As others have mentioned, if they bend the rules for you what about others.

If you only work 10 hours a week do you really need the job? If you do, could you not go at another time of year when you have permission? Sorry, do not mean to be unkind but this sort of situation crops up in most workplaces which is why employers have a set of rules to work to.

M0nica Tue 17-Oct-17 18:27:41

What about the Christmas sales? DD always buys the following years Christmas cards then.

I am with the manager. The OPs' conditions of service were well known to her and her working for the company means she assented to them. Managers may well be helpful to a good employee who discusses the issue with them first, but booking the tickets then asking for consent is holding a gun to the managers head and no good manager can give way in those circumstances.

If the employer were to decide to ignore some of their duties under the employment contract, the employees would be very quick to complain.

Smithy Wed 18-Oct-17 21:16:06

Sorry to disagree but I'm also in the sod it camp! I've done it twice in the past and haven't regretted it. I wouldn't give up the chance to spend Christmas in OZ with family.

Luckygirl Wed 18-Oct-17 21:53:38

1. Sod it!
2. Talk to your union

merlotgran Wed 18-Oct-17 22:13:09

Contact ACAS. They have an online help service.

I do think you should have discussed your holiday with your manager before making any travel arrangements so if you want to keep your job you will have to arm yourself with whatever defence you can muster before the disciplinary meeting. You will be able to take somebody with you as an impartial witness.

You will need to get your ducks in a row and prove they are being unreasonable by not granting you leave.

Good Luck.

Eglantine21 Wed 18-Oct-17 22:51:55

I don't think there is a defence is there? I want to spend Christmas with my family won't cut much ice.
Sorry OP, I think you are in big trouble here. You knew what the terms of the contract were and chose to disregard them.
Imagine trying to run a business where employees take holiday whenever and for as long as suits them, arranging it all without any reference to the person who is supposed to be managing them and then thinks the management is being unreasonable for not accommodating their wishes! Suppose every employee did that! What a nightmare.

M0nica Fri 20-Oct-17 06:34:47

How many of the 'sod it' group have been in a management position and had to take decisions like this?

BlueBelle Fri 20-Oct-17 07:41:58

I can understand you wanting to be with family over Christmas but I m also with those that said you made a big mistake not talking it over before going ahead and booking especially as your post said ^ you have already had extended leave 2 years ago^
As you only work 10 hours a week which is probably two days it would probably pay you to start looking around for something else which may be easier to find than a full time job
Paddyanne one year off in twelve years isn’t a sackable offence poster doesn’t say she’s never had a Christmas off in twelve years she said she has already had extended leave in 2015 and she’s only allowed one extended leave in five years it appears to be the extended leave not the Christmas/ BoxingDay thing that’s the problem
Basically you should have sorted it out with your manager who may have been helpful before you booked as you have now booked and obviously don’t want to change you may as well say sod it enjoy yourself and expect to be fired and find a new two day job when you get back
Good luck and enjoy your time with your daughter just don’t waste time worrying what’s done is done

Riverwalk Fri 20-Oct-17 08:11:55

TBH I would stop worrying and go and enjoy your trip - as this is your second such visit in two years and you only work 10 hours a week I presume this income isn't vital to household finances.

That said, I'm wondering just what did you expect to happen? There are rules and you knowingly broke them, even if you did arrange cover with a colleague; you're not the manager and it's not your job to organise other staff. It would have been good manners to have discussed this beforehand.

If you do go to some sort of tribunal the manager will have to spend time and energy preparing her case - so yes you are being unreasonable by being upset at her reaction!