Work trying to bully me into cancelling holiday

(388 Posts)
worridmum Sat 07-Jun-14 16:47:35

Sorry if this is the wrong place but this section has the most traffic and hoping for someone to help me.

Long story short is a booked my annaul leave in january in line with company policy and it was approved. After the approval I booked an expesive holiday to the USA for 3 weeks to see my parents as my father is in poor health and would like to see him before he deterates futher (long term problem with no possiblity of a cure sadly).

Now the crux of the problem last week my work colleuge is now wanting to start her metinity leave 2 months early than planned and now because our department is small one of us must be in the building for the department to run (I dont want to give too much details here as its very specislt field of work and dont want to out myself) and the meritity cover cannot start 2 months early than planned so my boss is putting large amounts of pressure to cancel my holiday and treating gross misconduct when I refused to cancel it as my manager blunty said when I asked is the company going to compestate for my finacel loss (non-refundable flights / hotel deposits etc) and she basically said tough luck the company WILL NOT pay for the loss of this money (roughly £3000) and I should just absorb this loss and consider it one of those things, which I replied no I am not willing to lose not only my last possible chance of seeing my Father before he passes away but also that amount of money which is a large amount for me.

Which is the reason she is quoting gross misconduct as I am refusing to cancel my holiday with only 2 weeks notice and that I am expected to eat the fiancal loss as well as prescous time with my father and my question is twofold

I am unreasonable to refuse to NOT cancel my holiday no matter that it will causes massive problems for the company and the second are they legally allowed to breech their own policies relating to booked holidays to be able to say my holiday will be treated as unauthrised absance and thus a gross misconduct offence even though I have all the documents saying it was authorised etc and finally if they are allowed to cancel my holiday at such short notice can force them to pay for my lost money so I am not out of pocket (travel insurnce will not pay out as it is not covered by their terms)

I am sorry for the long post and if it is in the wrong area and for any spelling or grammer mistakes as I have dylexia and no spell checker on this device.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 07-Jun-14 16:51:00

I don't think they can do this at all. Are you in a union?

If not contact ACAS, they will arbitrate between you and your employer. Not sure but CAB may also be able to advise.

I know some employers such as the police can cancel holidays. But this is something which employees know is a possibility and even then I think they're compensated.

Blimey, they are considerably out of order. Is there an HR dept?

Not sure about the short term, but in the long term I'd be looking for a new job.

I'm sorry about your father's health.

ilovesooty Sat 07-Jun-14 16:51:12

The fact that they are going to be short staffed is their problem to address. You have followed the correct procedures it seems. Are you in a union?

amicissimma Sat 07-Jun-14 16:55:17

I'm confident that taking pre-booked holiday is not 'gross misconduct.'

One of the reasons that people go down the employment route rather than running their own businesses is to avoid having to sort out staffing problems. It's your employer's problem, not yours.

It would be an even bigger problem for your employer if his/her treatment caused you to resign - then s/he'd have two of you to replace. Keep that in mind! (I'd be keeping an eye out for suitable jobs, just in case)

worridmum Sat 07-Jun-14 16:56:29

I am not in a union sadly

ilovesooty Sat 07-Jun-14 16:57:48

If they continue these threats (I assume you've documented them) I think you should be looking at raising a grievance.

jacks365 Sat 07-Jun-14 17:00:32

Ring acas as soon as you can because I have a suspicion that yes holiday can be cancelled with sufficient and correct procedure and if they follow that then to take your holiday would be gross misconduct. You need proper advice quickly.

worridmum Sat 07-Jun-14 17:01:22

Thank you everyone (yes I am documenting the threats as my boss emailed me them to me ) I am just just shocked on how they are treating me I have worked here for 5 years and my boss always treated me fairly and this is totally not how I judged her

How do I contact ACAS is it a region based thing? and does it cover Wales? If not is the CAB the best bet?

Igggi Sat 07-Jun-14 17:03:03

I hope you get good advice and get this problem sorted - seems very unfair.
Really though, this is an example of why everyone who can join a union, should join a union.

worridmum Sat 07-Jun-14 17:03:38

Is 9 working days enough notice for them to cancel my holiday as I am due to go on the 16th of june?

Thank you all for your help its just so much a shock and its all happening so fast

Nomama Sat 07-Jun-14 17:04:44

The problem is caused by the maternity leave, not you. But yes, they can do this if they give you the right notice...

An employer can refuse a leave request but they must give as much notice as the amount of leave requested, eg 2 weeks’ notice if the leave requested was 2 weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights/booking-time-off-

So, as your leave is for 3 weeks and you have 2 weeks notice, they cannot!

They should hire a temp.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 07-Jun-14 17:04:51

Legally if your employer wishes to cancel your holiday (which they can do) they have to give you notice equal to the length of holiday. You say you are taking three weeks holiday and it is in two weeks time, if this is the case they are too late to cancel the holiday.
Citizen Advice have information on their website about this.

phantomnamechanger Sat 07-Jun-14 17:06:00

I can't believe this! Even if they wanted you to rearrange your holiday for their convenience, they should be bending over backwards to make it worth your while doing them this massive favour - including more than compensating you for financial loss.

Of course they can't just say "you can't go and it's tough that you'll lose money"

Freckletoes Sat 07-Jun-14 17:06:20

I don't know the legalities but if they are so reliant on one of you and your pregnant co-worker, what would happen if you became seriously ill or injured while she was on maternity leave? They would have to find some sort of cover for your role then surely? I think they ABU but I don't know whether the law agrees.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 07-Jun-14 17:06:41

This may or may not be relevant:
"An employer can refuse a leave request but they must give as much notice as the amount of leave requested, eg 2 weeks’ notice if the leave requested was 2 weeks."
https://www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights/booking-time-off-

seems to be a very murky area and one you may need proper advice with.

PigletJohn Sat 07-Jun-14 17:08:14

meanwhile, start looking at job ads.

Do you really feel like you want to stay there?

btw your manager is Dagenham*.

If one person goes off on maternity, and she sacks the other, or they are so peeed off that they resign, has she got what she wants?


*beyond Barking.

worridmum Sat 07-Jun-14 17:09:27

Thank you everyone I have just googled ACAS they are now closed so it looks like its going to be a stressful weekend until they open again on monday.

Is it worth going to see a employment socilertor next week?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 07-Jun-14 17:11:48

Id say yes. It seems very unclear if the notice = holiday period applies to previously booked time off or not.

worridmum Sat 07-Jun-14 17:12:12

Sadly PigletJohn my line of work is very specilized and this job is one of the few happening at the moment in the UK I would have to conisder going abroad to find similear work.

AgaPanthers Sat 07-Jun-14 17:12:34

You don't necessarily need to see a solicitor, employment tribunals are quite helpful, and it may be that the threat of a mega-lawsuit will deter them without needing to fork out.

As well as ACAS, double check the wording of your company policy regarding holidays, and see what it says about cancellation.

If you're acting within the policy, and she's not, then she'll be the one in trouble

AreYouFeelingLucky Sat 07-Jun-14 17:14:06

What date did your employer first disallow your holiday?

worridmum Sat 07-Jun-14 17:15:47

the 4th of june she asked me informally to conisder giving up my holiday but the offical request didnt happen unti the 6th

Layla30 Sat 07-Jun-14 17:17:34

So when this other person is off on maternity leave what would happen if you were off ill??
Or are you just not allowed to be off now for the whole of her maternity leave?!?
Surely they need to think about this situation aswell as this person could legally be off for a year and you can't expected to cover all shifts/ days for that length if time!!!

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