to think I am right!

(88 Posts)
freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 13:54:31

This has been going round and round for weeks now, I'm sick of arguing about it and getting to the point where I'm doubting myself.

I'm contracted to work 2 days a week (Wednesday & Thursday) so my holiday allowance is pro-rata - 35 days for full time employees, mine is 14 days.

I want a week off during the Easter holidays so put in a holiday request ages and ages ago, it was signed off and all ok.

Then I get an email to say that my days had changed to Monday & Tuesday due to my holiday on Weds/Thurs.

So I phone and point out I'm not working at all I have booked holiday for the 2 days I'm contracted.

Office lady says yes, she knows I'm on holiday, that's why she's changed my days

I say no, I'm using my holiday allowance, I'm not swapping days, I'm on holiday all week.

She says, no, if I want the whole week off, I need to book the whole week off - i.e. use up 5 days.

I've tried explaining until I'm blue in the face that I only need to book holiday to cover my actual contracted hours, if I'm just swapping days, I'm not on holiday. We're now in a stand off.

AIBU to think I am right? Aren't I?

I'm managing to completely confuse myself, so I'm not sure anymore confused

RobotLover68 Tue 19-Mar-13 13:55:50

You're right - I work Tuesdays and Wednesdays and I book those 2 days off

eggso Tue 19-Mar-13 13:56:03

Of course YANBU! You don't work 5 days so why book off 5 days???

DragonMamma Tue 19-Mar-13 13:56:27

Jesus. She sounds pretty thick.

You are right, of course.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 19-Mar-13 13:56:45

You're right :-)

DawnOfTheDee Tue 19-Mar-13 13:56:47

You are right.

Merrylegs Tue 19-Mar-13 13:57:01

She is bonkers. You are right.

Poledra Tue 19-Mar-13 13:57:18

You're right- I work 4 days, and when I put in my holiday sheet, I only book those 4 days. They don't pay me for Fridays, so it's not holiday!

DeepRedBetty Tue 19-Mar-13 13:57:19

Surely if you're contracted to work on Wednesdays and Thursdays they can't ask you to work on other days? What if you had a 'portfolio' career and usually did something else on other days?

Might be worth reposting in Employment or Legal, although AIBU does get the most traffic...

Smellslikecatspee Tue 19-Mar-13 13:57:46

You're right

If she was right you should have 35 days A/L to use

lljkk Tue 19-Mar-13 13:59:09

yanbu, no idea how you fix that. It doesn't sound like rocket science.

freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 13:59:16


I'm sure I'm right, but she's equally convinced she's right and this whole ridiculous palaver has gone on for weeks so I'm beginning to wonder if I actually am

ENormaSnob Tue 19-Mar-13 13:59:17

You are completely right.

She is thick as fuck not.

What do hr say?

She sounds stupid.

Merrylegs Tue 19-Mar-13 13:59:41

How can you take a holiday from a job you aren't doing? ie you don't work Mon and Tues so how can you take it as holiday? Does that mean you have to take every Monday and Tuesday as holiday? Madness.

She's bonkers. confused

You work Weds and Thurs. You want Weds and Thurs off, so you take two days holiday. How difficult can it be?

<this is based on common sense, not an understanding of UK employment law> grin

thefirstmrsrochester Tue 19-Mar-13 14:00:16

You are right. And by her argument, if you wanted a week off, a week was 7 days last time I checked, so you would require 7 days holiday. She is wrong and you need to contact HR.

InkySkink Tue 19-Mar-13 14:00:45

You're right. If she were correct you would have less than 3 weeks holiday. In the UK the legal minimum is 5.6 weeks.

flossy101 Tue 19-Mar-13 14:01:26

How can she think she is right?!

If you had to work two days for booking off two days you'd never take holidays, completely defeats the object?!

Is she new?

urbanturban Tue 19-Mar-13 14:01:30

You are right........jeezo, it's a wonder the office lady managed to get to work OK as it sounds like her brain is NOT working today!

I am part-time too and this sort of stuff DOES mess with your head.......don't get me started on getting pro-rata'd amounts of public holidays..........grin

freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 14:03:29

Unfortunately she is HR.

I just didn't want to kick off at my boss, if by some chance she was right. I'm going to email and copy my boss in, he can sort it out

fengirl1 Tue 19-Mar-13 14:03:42

Freddie, a letter is in order...

Dear Office Lady,
As there seems to be some confusion regarding my forthcoming absence from work, I am writing to clarify the situation.
I do not intend to be work at on [insert whole week's dates here]. Since only two of the days are days on which I am contracted to work, I shall need only two days holiday. These have already been signed off by [whoever].
[Insert optional sarcastic comment here.]

YANBU by the way! smile

mummymeister Tue 19-Mar-13 14:03:50

you are right so what you need to do now is prove to her that you are right and she is wrong. ask her if she works a 5 day week. if she does and she wants a day off then say "Ok Ms X you have Friday off so that means you will come in and work Sunday then". Go to HR, go to various union websites where this is explained but please get it sorted before you go on leave. She is being thick. if you have to take 5 days leave then you need to have the full AL entitlement. she wants to have her cake and eat it!

CrazyOldCatLady Tue 19-Mar-13 14:03:51

You need to talk to someone other than her about it. She's bonkers.

DragonMamma Tue 19-Mar-13 14:03:59

Just tell her to call ACAS and that should put her right.

freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 14:04:19

Yes, she's new

fengirl1 Tue 19-Mar-13 14:04:39

X-post but hopefully still helpful!

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Tue 19-Mar-13 14:04:42

She's mad, you are right.

foxrivereight Tue 19-Mar-13 14:05:40

Is this woman for real ??!! shock

Surely no one is that thick ??confused

Please speak to someone else about this . And come back and let us know what happens <nosey>

FannyFifer Tue 19-Mar-13 14:06:05

I work 2 days a week, I book my holidays for those 2 days.

She is wrong wrong wrong.
Are you in a Union?

She's HR! Jesus. Copy in your boss. Her logic is bonkers.

DragonMamma Tue 19-Mar-13 14:07:55

I am astounded that she is HR. That's basic HR knowledge.

Beggar's belief.

ThingummyBob Tue 19-Mar-13 14:09:27

By her reckoning you will need 156 days holiday this year just to cover the days you don't work grin

freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 14:14:48

I know, it's mad.

I've just emailed her again to reiterate I won't be working at all that week and will only use 2 days of my holiday allowance and copied in my boss

Hopefully that'll be the end of it


ballstoit Tue 19-Mar-13 14:16:16

YANBU but are you definitely contracted to work Wednesday and Thursdays, rather than contracted to work 2 days a week.

I used to work in emergency services call centre, working 35 hours a week on a shift basis. So, if I wanted to book a week off, I had to book 7 days off, whether I was due to be working those days or not, but only the days I would have been working were taken off A/L entitlement. If you didn't book the whole week off, then you could have rest days swapped at the last minute, even if you hadn't been expecting to work.

If your 'HR' lady has come from this type of environment, that may be why she's confused.

ThingummyBob Tue 19-Mar-13 14:16:27

I think thats proably best tbh.

Copy your boss into any communication regarding the holiday.

She'll soon realise and feel like a twat

OrbisNonSufficit Tue 19-Mar-13 14:17:56

YANBU, your office manager is an idiot. You're required to take leave when you don't want to work. Which only applies if you would have been working at that time normally. As other people have pointed out, people who work 5 days a week do not take 'leave' every weekend but still don't work.

I know from experience at our office that there are at least 2 different ways of putting part time workers into our system (yours may be the same) - two part time people I work with have been given 2 different ways of dealing with bank hols etc - one has extra holidays granted but has to put every bank hol as a leave day, the other one doesn't. So it's quite possible it's a weird system set up thing combined with a daft office manager. You may need to find a HR person with a brain to discuss it with.

Do they have the right to move your days around according to your contract? That seems odd to me.

freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 14:19:37

I can't get through to her that

a) I'm only contracted to work for 2 days, so I only need to book 2 days leave

b) that if she swaps my days I don't actually need to book leave as I'm still working my contracted hours

c) if I use 2 days holiday and still work 2 days as she's swapped my days they then need to pay me 2 days overtime.

Shesparkles Tue 19-Mar-13 14:23:21

You're right and she's thick.

Do you work In the same place I do?

freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 14:23:34

Yes, I'm definately contracted to work Weds and Thurs although I can and do swap if I/they need to.

The holiday entitlement is on top of bank holidays (although I have to save 2 days for Christmas shut down).

DontmindifIdo Tue 19-Mar-13 14:25:17

e-mail her back, ccing your boss (and ideally her boss) saying

Dear [idiot]

There seems to be some mix up on my annual leave request. I have requested X and Y days as annual leave. I have not at any point asked to swap my working days on that week or any other week.

I am contracted only to work on Wednesdays and Thursdays, I do not work any other days. As such, my holiday allowance has been pro-rated down to 14 days from 35 days. In order to take a week's leave, I need to use 2 days from my 14 total as my contracted week is 2 days, not 5.

My original total of 35 days translated into 7 weeks leave (needing to use 5 days per week requested), I understood my leave total was reduced to 14 days to reflect the fact that in order to take the same 7 weeks leave I would need to only use 2 days per week and therefore 14 days leave is the same number of weeks off. However, by your calculation, if I have to use 5 days leave in order to take a week off, I now only have less than 3 weeks leave per year, please clarify.

Obviously there has been a mix up along the way, so please can you confirm the following:
a) my contract states I only am employed to work on Wednesdays and Thursdays
b) my holiday allowance was reduced to 14 days from 35 to reflect the fact that I only work 2 days a week
c) that in order to book 2 days leave I need to use 2 days from my holiday allowance, not 5 days.
d) that my holiday request for X & Y date is being treated as a holiday request, not a request to alter my working days that week

Kind regards,


DontmindifIdo Tue 19-Mar-13 14:27:58

oh wait, just seen you'll sometimes do overtime, so change the second parra to read:

I am contracted only to work on Wednesdays and Thursdays, I am not contracted to work any other days.

freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 14:32:25

Thank you!

Email sent!

DontmindifIdo Tue 19-Mar-13 14:34:22

oh and just seen you have messaged her and your boss.

Good good, I had this with HR because I also reduced the hours I worked each day, HR thought my total number of days holiday should also be reduced. I pointed out in order for that to be fair, for every day I had as annual leave I needed to be paid at the rate for someone working a full day. I also broke it down in an e-mail saying that rather than looking at the leave in terms of days, she should look at it in terms of hours, and that while I had 55% of the hours of a full time staff member, each day I took off required less hours as I didn't need to book until 6pm, just my finish time.

The really simply breaking it down in an e-mail worked. Which is why the "35 days translates into 7 weeks, 14 days translates into 7 weeks if I book 2 days per week, or you need to give me more days" might get it through to a thick person.

oh and do everything via e-mail so you can show it all to your boss if need be.

RobinSparkles Tue 19-Mar-13 14:38:24

You are right!

What an absolute wally! (Her, I mean).

Floggingmolly Tue 19-Mar-13 14:40:27

Office lady is a muppet who needs retraining.

Floggingmolly Tue 19-Mar-13 14:42:32

God, I've just read the whole thread. Why are so many thickos working in HR? confused

ffswhatnow Tue 19-Mar-13 14:44:43

Sadly it's people like this that give reason for HR to be nicknamed "human remains"

maddening Tue 19-Mar-13 14:56:35

You're right.

You should also get the bank holiday in lieu as far as I am aware (how they used to do at my old work after part time folk got union advice)

Takver Tue 19-Mar-13 15:02:46

"You should also get the bank holiday in lieu as far as I am aware "

Depends - as an employer you are allowed to include bank holidays within the 5.6 weeks minimum holiday.

Working out holiday for casual workers does my head in at the best of times (most of our staff work wildly varying hours depending on the time of year / childcare needs / our needs et al) so we just say "You get X days holiday for every Y days you work" and ignore bank holidays entirely otherwise I'd have a nervous breakdown . . . (Obviously they can take a bank holiday as leave if they want to.)

You are right, she is insane!

fascicle Tue 19-Mar-13 17:02:06

The woman's level of incompetence is staggering. Is there anyone else in the HR department you can deal with (if not, you could refer the woman to ACAS or the Instute of Personnel and Development so they can tell her how to calculate holidays). Or is the holiday policy for part-time workers included in your contract or written down somewhere so that you can refer to it?

Presumably she doesn't think full time workers should work weekends and do extra hours to make up for their time off?!

HotCrossCatPuss Tue 19-Mar-13 17:07:15

Crikey, she sounds like a real asset to HR! not

Pandemoniaa Tue 19-Mar-13 17:08:45

You are right. You work 2 days a week therefore you have a pro-rata holiday allowance. If you had to book 5 days holiday in order to be absent from work for 2 days then you'd be entitled to a deal more holiday allowance!

Euphemia Tue 19-Mar-13 18:09:23

She's bonkers. Utterly wrong. YANBU!

Euphemia Tue 19-Mar-13 18:11:22

Freddie What about Bank Holidays? You should be getting them pro rata too, if the 35 days for full-time staff does not include bank Holidays.

Let us know when she replies. I'm still flabbergasted at her stupidity.

GoldenGreen Tue 19-Mar-13 18:16:00

Oh dear. HR lady is going to feel very silly indeed when this finally dawns on her.

AnastasiaBieverhausen Tue 19-Mar-13 18:19:00

Shamelessly marking my place to see the outcome of this.

Bambalam Tue 19-Mar-13 18:21:43

She is a dick, of course you're right. If she's full time, ask her if she has to take 14 days annual leave, or just ten, when she has a fortnight off.

foxrivereight Tue 19-Mar-13 18:38:24

euphemia afaik bank holidays arent pro ratad , everyone is entitled to the same no matter how many hours (that's how my company work anyway)

Euphemia Tue 19-Mar-13 18:42:32

Fox That's not true - the annual leave and bank holidays should be added together and a pro rata entitlement calculated from that.

I had a six-month battle with my line manager over this in my previous job, so I know!

Otherwise, someone who works Mondays ends up working fewer days over the year for the same money as someone who never works Mondays.

freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 18:44:43

My boss replied, just short and sweet - don't worry, will sort it out

She's not replied, I know she's read it as I get a read receipt.

Euphemia everyone gets bank holidays, then the 35 days on top. Although I'm not contracted to work bank holidays anyway, so does that mean I technically should get extra days? <hopeful> grin

It's only a small company, about 5 full time staff plus me. She is the HR Department!

She was actually beginning to convince me she was right blush

ModreB Tue 19-Mar-13 18:48:27

Ha, we have an electronic leave system, so if someone works only half days, say mornings, but 5 days a week, which works out at 17.5hrs a week, they are entitled to a full holiday entitlement as their working day is half a normal day. This also means that they cant book half days leave.

But, if someone works 17.5 hrs over 3 days, say Monday,Tuesday and half day Wednesday, they are only entitled to half the full time holiday allowance as they only work half the week, and they can book half days as part of the time they work full days.

Try explaining that to our thick HR department grinTook me about a month before they understood.

pompompom Tue 19-Mar-13 18:49:45

We get 40% of 35 days, then 40% of bank holidays regardless of which days of the week we work.

But it depends on your contract

Euphemia Tue 19-Mar-13 18:50:46

Yes, Freddie! Don't let the bastards rob you!

You work Weds and Thur - imagine someone who worked in the same office as you, same job, but Mondays and Tuesdays. They would get all the Mondays off which are also Bank Holidays, for the same salary you're getting. No fair! They are working fewer days over the year than you, for the same money!

I used to work three days (0.6 FTE). We had 25 days annual leave plus 11 Bank Holidays, so my leave entitlement was 36x0.6.

foxrivereight Tue 19-Mar-13 18:54:28

Maybe its the type of work i do then ? We are 24 hour service with shiftwork so we all get the same bank holidays , because it's nor fair if someone is always off the bank holidays and someone works every one because of the way the rotas work .

Startail Tue 19-Mar-13 18:58:06

And the prize for one brain cell goes to Freddiefrogs office lady.

yanbu! but you know this already grin

what utter madness!

raisah Tue 19-Mar-13 19:07:07

sounds like HR at my place, bit clueless about employment rules!

2beornot Tue 19-Mar-13 19:11:42

Freddie, do you work in the NHS by any chance? And have you recently moved to e-rostering? This is the type of issue that can happen, particularly when you are part time and not a shift worker. She has to request that you have all five days off (so that the system doesn't just change your hours), but you only need to use 2 days leave.

I'd keep a close eye on your leave entitlement if I were you!!

bringonyourwreckingball Tue 19-Mar-13 19:15:42

Euphemia the part timers/bank holiday issue is actually a bit of a legal grey area. My employer does give me a pro-rated amount of extra holiday in lieu of bank holidays as I don't work Mondays and I do think that's legally the right approach but there's a case that suggests otherwise.

Freddiefrog - she's bonkers. If she won't back down ultimately you can tell her she's proposing to discriminate against you under the part time employees (prevention of less favourable) treatment regs. But you might not want to take it that far if your manager is backing you.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jux Tue 19-Mar-13 19:18:37

This happens so often. Can't they teach HR people what pro rata means before they let them loose on the world? grin. It's not even difficult.

I once had two guys working piggy-back for our department (alternate days so there was always cover). They got x holiday each, but somehow HR had decided that if one was on holiday the other had to cover him. Which meant that in the end neither actually got any holiday at all. Took ages to show HR how it worked, and many diagrams and coloured pencils died in the demonstration.

Euphemia Tue 19-Mar-13 19:19:35

Jux grin

Fakebook Tue 19-Mar-13 19:23:46

Sounds like a simple case of thickitis.

This is ridiculous!

DieWilde13 Tue 19-Mar-13 19:33:59

Watching with interest. I am working part-time and holiday entitlement is driving me nuts!

Euphemia Tue 19-Mar-13 19:37:59

The most straightforward way is annual leave + bank holidays then pro rata the total = your annual entitlement.

If a bank holiday falls on one of the days you normally work, you take it out of your annual entitlement. Otherwise, days off are agreed with your manager as normal.

tollyandfeste Tue 19-Mar-13 19:44:06

Hi, I am an HR Advisor and yes you are 100% right!!! Your annual leave is pro rata your annual hours. So if you work 2 days a week to have a whole week of you use 2 days annual leave.

hugoagogo Tue 19-Mar-13 19:52:35

Try working just Sundays; I applied for a day off and HR said I couldn't, because

'it's a Sunday-we are closed'

I said 'that's so funny, because my contract say's I have to work Sundays!?' confused

HR is in an office miles away and just cannot understand that other people do not work nine to five in an office like them.

OrbisNonSufficit Tue 19-Mar-13 20:05:21

I know this is off topic, but it just suddenly struck me that part of the problem with glass ceilings and women not really realising their potential and so on may ACTUALLY just be about the fact that when we want a little bit of part time work for a year or five while the kids are little No One Can F**king Figure It Out.

freddiefrog Tue 19-Mar-13 20:33:53

I don't work for the NHS

I actually have a cushy little number going - boss is a sort-of friend of DH's (he used to work for the same company as DH, then set up his own company), I work from home 2 days a week, am around to pick the kids up from school, and can bunk off for an hour if i need to be at an assembly, etc and the pay is good, so I can't moan

I just want a week off without a drama with the office lady

Anyway, Boss has rung, and he'll go over her head and book it in properly tomorrow. Phew!


manticlimactic Tue 19-Mar-13 21:58:13

Where I work (2 days, like you) I had to book 5 days off for the whole week and PT people couldn't get their heads round it. BUT my entitlement was 35 days not 14 so it all worked out. They've changed it to hours now so it's much simpler.

Misfit13 Tue 19-Mar-13 22:22:34

You already have 5 days a week off.
You have booked an additional 2 days off. That makes 7 days. Which is 1 whole week. I'm thick as shit, but I can work that out!

Jux Wed 20-Mar-13 08:32:27

Ask if those who work 5 days a week have to book 7 days off in order to get a full week's holiday. Presumably that's what the silly girl would have to do herself.

toomanyfionas Wed 20-Mar-13 08:37:07

You are right of course, and you need a new office lady.

Any update?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now