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To think that an uncle IS a close relative?

(87 Posts)
Watto1 Fri 30-Aug-13 19:52:00

My uncle sadly passed away a few days ago. His funeral is on Thursday next week. My boss says that I can't have compassionate leave to go to his funeral as compassionate leave is 'for close relatives only.'

I will be going regardless, using my annual leave rather than compassionate leave, but AIBU to think that an uncle should be considered a close relative?

hermioneweasley Fri 30-Aug-13 20:22:55

This is extremely common approach. Every employer I have worked for has only given compassionate leave for immediate family. I am sorry for your loss, but you woukdn't believe how many uncles etc people can have. This is what annual leave is for.

Blissx Fri 30-Aug-13 20:24:18

HappyMumOfOne is absolutely correct. Sorry for your loss OP

trinity0097 Fri 30-Aug-13 20:24:38

I would say that time off to grieve should be restricted to close family only, especially as they are the ones who generally you havr to organisr things for. However I don't think that any employer should stop someone from attending a funeral if they want to. Someone at my work had the day off today for a funeral, the person who organises leave didn't ask who the funeral was for. She accepted that he wanted to go and let him have the day off to do so.

raisah Fri 30-Aug-13 20:25:04

Yes my uncles are my close relatives as I share 50% of my DNA with them just as I do with my mum. It is silly that people don't regard that uncles & aunts are close relations.

I am sorry for your loss and I hope that you get through the funeral and remember the good times that you had together.

OnTheBottomWithAWomensWeekly Fri 30-Aug-13 20:26:48

you don't share 50% of your dna with your uncles.

hermioneweasley Fri 30-Aug-13 20:27:19

I don't understand why employers are expected to fund every loss through compassionate leave. Annual leave is for waiting in for parcels, going to the dentist, taking kids to appointments and yes, sadly, for funerals. If you have enough time after that to go on a beach holiday then that's great, but it's not for your employer to give paid leave for every need for time off.

onedev Fri 30-Aug-13 20:28:30

Sorry for your loss Op but I agree with AnyFucker. As with most things, the minority has spoilt it for the majority & a line has to be drawn somewhere.

I work for a FTSE 20 company & you'd need to take annual leave for anything other than spouse, parent, sibling or child.

flowery Fri 30-Aug-13 20:29:43

Yes as Hermione says, immediate family is usual, which would normally be spouse, siblings, parents, off spring.

Discretion is great in many areas of HR and I'm a big fan of it, and try to preserve it as far as possible.

But the trouble is if you give one person compassionate leave for an uncle, it's difficult to refuse the exact same request for someone else. It's fairly black and white, which other areas of time off work are not always, and in those instances it's easier to exercise discretion without it becoming a problem.

MrsKoala Fri 30-Aug-13 20:30:29

i hate these rules, at my last work it was a day off for funeral of grandparent, 3 days for parent and 5 days for a child or spouse. I always thought on what fucking planet would i be returning to work a week after my child had died! No time off for PILs either so people couldn't support their partners. A/L had to be 2 weeks notice and was often declined as we were constantly short staffed (i wonder why? confused ). Sickness rules were also just as 'compassionate'.

I'm sorry for your loss OP.

oneofthosedays Fri 30-Aug-13 20:34:04

My employer was the same - umm'd and ahh'd and took months to decide whether I could take compassionate leave or had to class it as annual leave after my 19 yo neice died very suddenly and I needed time to help my sister with the younger kids whilst her life hung in the balance, and then after that to attend the funeral. Neices, nephews, aunts and uncles aren't strictly classed as close relatives in my work's policy but they did authorise it in the end. Was just one more thing I could have done without having to think about.

PharaohHound Fri 30-Aug-13 20:37:57

you don't share 50% of your dna with your uncles.

technically, you could, the average is 25% with extremes of 0% and 50%.

It's all down to how genes are shuffled, and how much of the same genes siblings share, ie your sister might have all of the same genes that you got from your parents, or she might have none, but it averages at around 50%. Her son would share with you exactly half of what she shared with you.

Mintyy Fri 30-Aug-13 20:39:01

I don't think you need compassionate leave to go to the funeral of an uncle but you would be quite within your rights to complain about not being permitted to take annual leave to cover it.

When they were all alive I had five uncles and one aunt, plus all their spouses. So twelve "close" relatives in your terms. What if (heaven forfend) they had all died in the same year?

onedev Fri 30-Aug-13 20:42:36

Sorry for your situation Oneof but surely you didn't expect your employer to give you carte blanche in that situation?

VerySmallSqueak Fri 30-Aug-13 20:44:27

I am so sorry that you have lost someone who you felt so much for.

Although your Uncle was clearly close to you,and you to him,I am afraid that I would expect that most employers would not class him as close enough for the purposes of compassionate leave.

I think compassionate leave is discretionary (unless stated in your contract).
However you should be able to take annual leave,or ask if you could take unpaid leave .

StanleyLambchop Fri 30-Aug-13 20:45:57

My BIL was not allowed compassionate leave for my dad- his FIL. Even though he was supporting his wife through losing her father. Bastards! I agree they should allow so many days compassionate, then leave it up to the individual who they use it for.

froken Fri 30-Aug-13 20:50:36

My dp was denied annual leave to travel to tge UK for my grandpa's funeral ( which is on Monday) even though my grandpa was like a father to me, so me and baby ds will go alone even though I'm terrified of flying.

I'd give all my annual leave for a decade if dp could come with us sad

elliejjtiny Fri 30-Aug-13 20:51:58

Sorry for your loss OP. DH had to take AL for his gran's funeral and our miscarried baby's funeral. When DS4 was in NICU, MIL got 8 days special leave on full pay and DH just got 10 days statutory paternity leave.

MrsGaryKielhofner Fri 30-Aug-13 20:55:44

A friend had compassionate from a local authority to go to another friend's mother's next door neughbour's funeral. I am surprised she even had the cheek to ask!

That aside compassionate leave policies should be flexible enough to include family likes uncles if you were very close.

MrsGaryKielhofner Fri 30-Aug-13 20:56:27


quietbatperson Fri 30-Aug-13 20:58:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SeaSickSal Fri 30-Aug-13 21:04:27

Sorry for your loss. Go. I think your boss would have a hard time getting it through a disciplinary.

MimsyBorogroves Fri 30-Aug-13 21:04:38

It's shit.

My old employer (head teacher) only counted parents, spouses and children as close. A friend of mine, who was brought up by her grandmother, was made to take unpaid leave because "those are the rules and I won't bend them". Twat.

firesidechat Fri 30-Aug-13 21:07:17

Like others on here I would think that compassionate leave is for spouse, child, siblings and parents. Uncles would come into the category of extended family. It's not as if he is saying you can't go, just that you need to take leave for it. Seems reasonable to me.

CailinDana Fri 30-Aug-13 21:09:50

Msvestibule - she couldn't take AL as it was too short notice. Needless to say the company had a massive staff turnover and my sister quit a few months later.

comingalongnicely Fri 30-Aug-13 21:10:17

our policy is Compassionate Leave for "direct" relatives, e.g. parents, kids and siblings. Anything else you take either Annual or Unpaid, if work can accommodate it. Work isn't obliged to give leave for non direct relatives, but they do try.
It's fair enough, some people seem to have hundreds of relatives...

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