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Annual Leave denied over Easter because I've been off sick for two weeks

(135 Posts)
randallandhopkirk Tue 13-Mar-18 21:28:00

I was signed off work sick for 2 weeks.

I had planned to book the second week off as A/L Easter off to look after the DC while they're off school. I take time off most school holidays, it's never been a problem.

I've just put my leave request into my boss and she has denied it because I've just come back from sickness and I have "too much catching up to do" to go on leave so soon (i.e. in 3 weeks time).

I do have two weeks catching up to do, as there is zero process in place for anyone to do my job in my absence. But I couldn't help being sick and now it seems it wasn't really sick leave, as I am expected to make the time up and can only have annual leave once this is done.

I know A/L is discretionary, but is this ok?

Brokenbiscuit Tue 13-Mar-18 21:30:33

What do you mean when you're saying that you need to make the time up? Are they asking you to do extra hours to complete the work that you missed, or do you just mean that they want you to try to catch up during your normal working hours?

pinkginanyone Tue 13-Mar-18 21:33:36

This is fairly normal is my industry however it’s not the norm in 95% of places. So I’d say it depends what you do. If she can’t get cover/your job done then that’s reason enough.

randallandhopkirk Tue 13-Mar-18 21:33:51

I am p/t, so I think the implication is that if I want to take a week's A/L over Easter I'll have to work on my day off until I've caught up.

I don't usually take days sick to be honest as there's always an hour or two of work expected even if I'm sick. But this time I was hospitalised so literally couldn't sit and do emails from bed as I usually would.

I will clarify what she means, but my understanding is that if I can't catch up (which I can only do by working my days off) in time that I can't have the leave.

timeisnotaline Tue 13-Mar-18 21:35:16

But if you work the days off there is no way you shOuld use up annual leave - it should be days in lieu.

Partyfops Tue 13-Mar-18 21:39:26

It's quite short notice to take Leave for Easter is it not?

PeerieBreeks Tue 13-Mar-18 21:42:20

I think that would come under 'business need' which is a perfectly reasonable reason to refuse holidays. Sorry.

DazzlingMilton Tue 13-Mar-18 21:42:33

Is she rejecting it because she feels that the backlog of work resulting from 2 weeks sick and a week at Easter is a problem from a service level / delivery perspective? Does your not completing your work place other areas of the organisation in difficulty?

If so I can understand her point. As easter is quite close she can probably gauge this quite well. I would be asking specifically what needs to be done for you to be able to take time off, if it is catching up with work from the last two weeks you would have to agree the best way of doing it before getting AL.

randallandhopkirk Tue 13-Mar-18 21:45:12

I think, in her eyes, I've just had a break, so it's unreasaonble to ask for another one.

I usually only book it a couple of weeks before so I've not left it a bit late in the context of there is nothing unusual about the timing of me asking it, I've done it this way for the last 5 years.

If I'd known I was going be hospitalised I'd have put my request in earlier, but I haven't.

I don't know, she doesn't really believe in 'going sick' so I think that's part of it.

Dorsetdays Tue 13-Mar-18 21:46:31

Sounds to me as though you have (justifiably) been off sick for a couple of weeks but have now returned to work and asked to book annual leave for a few weeks time.

Expect that, like there would be in many organisations, there is now a backlog of work that will need picking up alongside your day to day work so I don't think your employer is being unreasonable in expecting you to be at work for the next few weeks in order to do that.

If you always take time off during the holidays perhaps there are also other people in your company who would like some time off over Easter too? Often in teams or smaller companies only s certain number of people can be off at any one time.

Dancingmonkey87 Tue 13-Mar-18 21:46:52

I also agree it’s short notice and you won’t have been back long before taking another full week when there’s already a back log of work.

randallandhopkirk Tue 13-Mar-18 21:48:27

I don't have any colleagues.

It's me and her and she doesn't do my work when I'm sick. Which is why I don't bother going sick.

That's why I have to go through the backlog entirely on my own until it's done.

Dancingmonkey87 Tue 13-Mar-18 21:50:37

I’m guessing she’s senior to you?

randallandhopkirk Tue 13-Mar-18 21:51:54

Yes, she's senior to me DancingMonkeys that's why she's my boss and not the other way round.

DazzlingMilton Tue 13-Mar-18 21:52:20

What impact does a backlog have on customers / service / output / whatever it is you do?

ourkidmolly Tue 13-Mar-18 21:55:13

The answer is yes, she can deny the request. Her decision is lawful. You answered the question yourself when you explained that all leave is discretionary.

HackAttack Tue 13-Mar-18 21:55:58

Annual leave is not an automatic right, focus on clearing your back log and then make a new request for May.

randallandhopkirk Tue 13-Mar-18 21:56:38

That's really difficult as I'm not even back to full strength and was relying on being able to have a break again in a couple of weeks. I really hope I don't end up getting signed off again.

ShiftyMcGifty Tue 13-Mar-18 21:59:32

“I think, in her eyes, I've just had a break, so it's unreasaonble to ask for another one.”

No, in her eyes there’s a huge amount of work to do with no one else to do it and you’ve just asked for a holiday. She’s right to say no and I think you’ve got a lot of cheek asking, knowing there’s a huge backlog and no one else to deal with it.

Riverside2 Tue 13-Mar-18 22:01:01

Sorry to hear you are having this experience
Sounds like you need another job though.

randallandhopkirk Tue 13-Mar-18 22:01:37

There is a backlog as there is no process in place to cover sickness.

Hence she expects me to work from my sick bed when I am sick, because she is too tight to pay for cover.

Dorsetdays Tue 13-Mar-18 22:01:53

Not sure why you expect her to do your work when you're off, whether that's sickness or holiday? I imagine she has her own job to do and whilst she may well have to reprioritise if something urgent crops up that would normally be your job to do, she can't physically do her own job AND yours at the same time (otherwise she wouldn't need to employ you in the first place)

Ergo there will be a backlog of some sort or another when you return to work. That's your job to catch up over a period of time.

Asking for annual leave in those circs would generally be turned down in most organisations.

She's not being unreasonable or necessarily trying to punish you for being off sick. Perhaps she just needs you to be there consistently for a few weeks to get back on top of things.

She's also entitled to refuse leave if she believes it is unreasonable, can't be covered adequately or is too short notice so to answer your initial question...yes this is OK.

CableKnitHuman Tue 13-Mar-18 22:02:33

Are you able to make up the back log by working additional days before the children's easter break (paid) and then take unpaid leave for that week?

randallandhopkirk Tue 13-Mar-18 22:03:26

"Perhaps she just needs you to be there consistently for a few weeks to get back on top of things."


Which is exactly my plan. Come back and clear the backlog for the next 3 weeks then go on leave.

StopPOP Tue 13-Mar-18 22:05:33

It's unfortunate you were off sick, but also unfortunate your leave request wasn't in earlier.

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