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About leave for a funeral

(36 Posts)
shellistar Mon 16-Feb-15 07:45:26

I'm quite emotional and don't want to go all guns blazing because of this.

A close relative (but not direct iyswim) who is also my godmother died recently and the funeral is this week. I've emailed my boss about taking leave but because I've never had to take leave for this type of thing before I asked what the process would be.

My boss has come back saying that I'll need to take a days annual leave for it.

This wouldn't be so bad in itself but I get very few days leave because we have to save 2 weeks for Christmas. I wouldn't mind so much but, as mentioned before, I've never taken leave for a funeral in the seven years+ that I've worked with this manager.

Another irritating factor is the fact that work a minimum of 10 unpaid hours extra a week (so 50 instead of my contracted 40), not including all the weekend work that I do as well.

Manager has said that he will discuss with me today but I'd really like to know whether I'd just be a whinger to point out the OT that I do? My manager can be quite difficult and because I'm upset I don't want it to cloud my judgement.


Theas18 Mon 16-Feb-15 07:48:09

Point out the ot of course ( what happens if you stop doing it?) but ultimately most contracts say apart from compassionate leave for immediate family it needs to be a/l or unpaid maybe

MrsRonBurgundy Mon 16-Feb-15 07:48:16

Our work will offer unpaid special leave but asks if we want to use holiday first so we don't lose a days pay - could this be why he has said holiday?
Ask specifically about special leave
I wouldn't mention the overtime you do to be honest.

Waswondering Mon 16-Feb-15 07:48:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OddBoots Mon 16-Feb-15 07:48:42

I wouldn't complain as such but in your position I'd ask if it is possible to make up the hours rather than take annual leave, say you'll stay a couple of hours late each day or however you already do the extra hours.

bullseyebraces Mon 16-Feb-15 07:50:14

It's fairly common policy. At my (old) work you could have bereavement leave for the death of a child or parent, anything else was annual leave.

HexBramble Mon 16-Feb-15 07:52:23

I'm sorry for your loss.
I wouldn't point out as this point about your unpaid OT but if he's not flexible, I'd start withdrawing from the OT. I'm very fortunate because my site manager who deals with this, sees the extras I do and is likewise very accommodating. I guess I'm lucky. Yours sounds like he is working absolutely by the book.

HexBramble Mon 16-Feb-15 07:53:41

OddBoots - good idea.
It's what you do anyway and you'll be pointing out in a very subtle way that it's what you do. It's definitely worth asking.

Chertsey Mon 16-Feb-15 07:54:16

I think your boss is "right" within the rules. I work term-time, so no holiday allowance to take it from and this would be unpaid, officially. Would have to be immediate family to get a free day off.

Unfortunately, they have to have tight rules like that because some people will always abuse it if not, however, for someone like you, with a good attendance record and who is owed hours, the deduction would get "forgotten".

Perhaps, as it was in writing, your boss had to tell you it would be considered holiday but you'll come to some arrangement when you talk to him - maybe make up the hours through the OT you do anyway.

Anyway, don't worry about it today.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Mon 16-Feb-15 07:57:10

flowers for you, OP.

Stop the overtime right away and polish your CV.

Tryharder Mon 16-Feb-15 07:57:40

You could ask for TOIL.
But if your manager is an arse, I'd stop doing the unpaid OT.

Preciousbane Mon 16-Feb-15 07:59:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Snapespotions Mon 16-Feb-15 07:59:15

Sorry about your loss.

As others have said, I think it's quite standard to allow compassionate leave for immediate family members only. I have always taken leave for other funerals.

I think the suggestion of offering to make the hours up is a good one - worth a try!

BirdingWidow Mon 16-Feb-15 08:00:19

Same as Bullseye. I work in the public sector and do a huge amount of unpaid overtime but same applies - I had to take a day's AL for a grandparent's funeral last month. I think that approach is fairly normal. And it does at least make it clear and objective to staff and managers, so you don't have to try and 'agree' how important close friends and other relatives were to you.

skylark2 Mon 16-Feb-15 08:02:35

Two entire weeks is a very long time to be required to take as leave at Christmas - that's as long as the schools are shut for. In my experience it's normally three days.

I don't think you can expect to be paid to go to the funeral of someone who isn't an immediate relative.

Sorry for your loss.

hijk Mon 16-Feb-15 08:09:43

I am sorry for your loss, but you are very lucky to be in a position where you can get unpaid leave for this.

I have seen many situations where leave for funerals for people not directly related has been refused point blank.

I was refused a days unpaid leave to attend my father's wedding, and as he died shortly after, have always regretted not going.

I think these occasions matter more than jobs, and I should have resigned my job and gone, I know other people who have had to choose between important family occasions and their jobs, some have chosen the job, some have chosen the family occasion.

You are not being forced to choose, you are lucky.

MinceSpy Mon 16-Feb-15 08:10:00

OP I'm sorry for your loss. Your boss is correct, compassionate leave isn't obligatory and an aunt/godmother isn't considered immediate family. Take a day's holiday or unpaid, today isn't the day to try and have a serious conversation with him.
On your return have a meeting with him and discuss the unpaid overtime ect. I would be inclined to stop being available for unpaid overtime and weekends I'd also quietly start researching the job market.

Nerf Mon 16-Feb-15 08:14:29

With the overtime though, you might be perceiving it as a positive thing but your manager might just not know, not want you to, assume you can't do the job in your contracted hours etc etc.

bigbluestars Mon 16-Feb-15 08:14:37

This is not a close relative. Your boss is in the right.
I had to take a day of annual leave to attend my father's funeral.

frostyfingers Mon 16-Feb-15 09:37:17

As a PP has said ask if you could take it as TOIL - might be a way of getting your leave without being too confrontational.

He doesn't sound especially sympathetic though so I suspect you'll have to take it as leave.

shellistar Mon 16-Feb-15 11:18:10

Thank you, a lot to think about and some great perspectives. I'll wait until I'm a little less emotional before I speak to him (and try and get him when he is in a good mood)

Thank you for the flowers x

EdSheeran Mon 16-Feb-15 11:42:47

I'm sorry for your loss and I'm afraid that I agree, this is pretty standard. Take care of yourself.

rumbelina Mon 16-Feb-15 11:54:35

I work somewhere that is quite generous with leave and we get 5 days 'special leave' a year that can cover poorly children as well as certain hospital appointments and supposedly funerals.

However when my granny (who I was very close to) died I was allowed half a day of special leave for the funeral. And that's with my boss signing off a day - HR returned the form.

My boss gave me the time anyway because she is Good and Kind but half a day? They may as well have not bothered.

So even decent employers are tight on this, I was quite surprised.

rumbelina Mon 16-Feb-15 11:59:03

By the way sorry for your loss.

The reason my boss gave me the time 'for free' is because she understands that it's not just immediate family that can be the biggest loss, having been closer to her godmother than her mother.

Hope you get somewhere with your boss. If you feel yourself getting upset be sad instead of cross - you're more likely to touch a heartstring.

BackforGood Mon 16-Feb-15 12:04:01

Sorry for your loss, but agree with everyone else that leave is generally restricted to parents, spouse or dc (sometimes siblings).

I think the TOIL unpaid overtime / having to use 2 weeks of your leave at Christmas is something you need to have a conversation about separately though - the more people do it, the more it becomes "just what is done" but to be working 25% extra every week does seem extreme.

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