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Annual leave request

(25 Posts)
olafisking Thu 10-Mar-16 08:31:06

I work in HE and the University closes for two extra days after Easter Monday. It's a lovely perk and many people tag on leave for the Thurs/Fri to make up a full week off. On this occasion I need those days off for childcare (I have my parents to look after DS for the second week of Easter). I put my leave card in to my manager the other day expecting no issues but when I followed it up she said she was concerned there would not be sufficient office cover for the working hours. We have a team of 5 working in the main student facing office and myself and another team leader in separate offices just along the corridor. I explained that one team member would be in and her working hours are until 2.15, the other team leader is also in so she can cover the remainder of the time (a note on the office door redirecting visitors will be enough).

My manager has said that I need to wait till the other team leader is back (currently on holiday) to make sure she is willing to cover the office. Now I have no reason to think she will say no but effectively this is asking someone on my level to approve my leave request! Additionally it seems a logic fail that I might have to come in to cover the office if my colleague says she is unwilling to do so - this is a normal part of our jobs although less so since we combined our teams. I did also explain that the other team leader is aware I want leave bit that was not sufficient.

AIBU? I'm quite annoyed as this is against all previous practice.

SuperCee7 Thu 10-Mar-16 08:33:40

Yes yabu. You should have submitted leave sooner and of course it can't be approved of there won't be sufficient cover

Lelania Thu 10-Mar-16 08:39:48

I don't think it's fair just to assume that others will cover if you haven't asked them.

RB68 Thu 10-Mar-16 08:45:09

She is right to ask if it has become less the norm for this to happen. Childcare is your issue. Find some clubs or something.

PurpleDaisies Thu 10-Mar-16 08:47:52

If someone is covering your work it's totally fair to make sure that that's ok before approving your leave.

Balletgirlmum Thu 10-Mar-16 08:49:00

It's fairly standard in most workplaces. Only so many staff can be off at one time & other staff need to be asked if they will cover

londonrach Thu 10-Mar-16 08:49:10

Yabu, you should have asked earlier. Sounds like your manager is very fair.

olafisking Thu 10-Mar-16 08:49:18

But there is sufficient cover! This was discussed with the team in advance. It's Easter, students are on break, academics will be on holiday and schools (our other main contact) are closed so there is no need for more than a single contact in case of emergency. Essentially she seems to be saying my colleague can refuse to do something that I can't refuse.

andadietcoke Thu 10-Mar-16 08:49:22

Yes, common courtesy. I've done that within my team, especially if other people are already off.

PurpleDaisies Thu 10-Mar-16 08:50:56

Why couldn't you refuse if your positions were reversed?

Maybe you need to clarify what exactly is included in your job description.

PennyHasNoSurname Thu 10-Mar-16 08:53:45

OP if you didnt have leave and the other person also didnt have leave, would both of you be on shift?

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Thu 10-Mar-16 09:04:55

Blimey you did cut it a bit fine to book leave for Easter! Where I am, we have to book easter and summer "block" leave before Dec, and xmas leave is applied for in August and finalised in September!!

This is to ensure the department is well covered, as we are open bank hols as well.

Ad hoc leave can be applied for throughout the year, on a first come, first served basis; but out of 12 of us, 8 have to be in so leave only allowed for 3 to allow for sickness, emergency etc.

I don't believe your manager has done anything wrong.

olafisking Thu 10-Mar-16 09:06:18

I feel I haven't explained this very well. We are rarely asked to cover the office as there is usually plenty of cover, however for example if on Friday the one other person who works late is off sick I would expect to cover (and would fully expect to be pulled up if I refused). Which is why I'm surprised my manager seems to be saying my colleague could refuse and therefore require me to come in. She won't, but I'm surprised it's been suggested she could.

In future I will suggest to my colleague that we sign each others leave cards, then there shouldn't be a problem - wouldn't be now as she knows I'm not coming in on those days, she just hasn't signed anything to say so!

Foginthehills Thu 10-Mar-16 09:08:39

academics will be on holiday

Ha! Shows how much you know about what academics do. It'll 4 days of no emails so I can get on with some actual work.

But YABU. Your manager needs to check that cover will be in place. If one of the people she will ask to cover you is away on leave at the moment (good lord, leave in term time when working at a university? - she is lucky!) then of course she needs to wait til your colleague's back in order to arrange it with her to cover you.

Balletgirlmum Thu 10-Mar-16 09:14:55

Covering sick is different to covering planed holiday.

And I know several uni/college lecturers who struggle to take leave during school holidays.

confusedandemployed Thu 10-Mar-16 09:18:30

Actually I don't think YABU if your opposite number is in. It wouldn't occur to me to check if they'd be happy to cover. It's part of any job. You don't check if everyone's OK with someone else taking leave every time FFS. If there is sufficient cover it should be fine.

You did leave it a bit late though!

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Thu 10-Mar-16 09:27:09

I don't think YABU - there is plenty of cover, and people just want to tell you YABU because you have admitted you need the leave for childcare reasons, some people hate that because they think those who need childcare get unfair priority, but that is not the case here - you are not asking for any kind of priority, just a leave request at a quiet time with sufficient cover, that would normally be granted.

Cressandra Thu 10-Mar-16 09:27:21

I understand your logic completely, but your manager's decision it sounds like more of a courtesy thing than a fundamental ranking of your colleague's decisions over yours. IF your colleague said no, then the next step would be a conversation about it, not her being able to take leave and you not.

It's like if your colleague were volunteered to do a presentation or travel on business in her absence, the manager would check it's ok with her before committing her to attending it. It's not quite the same thing, but I think it's more similar than your interpretation that your colleague is being given first dibs on time off.

MonkeyPJs Thu 10-Mar-16 09:28:07

She may also be checking the other person doesn't want leave themselves, as if you both want it you'd have to have a ballot or somesuch perhaps to keep it fair.

FWIW I booked my Easter leave the first week of Jan, I wouldn't expect to get anything applied for within the month of taking the holiday

LittleBearPad Thu 10-Mar-16 09:29:00

Surely it's simply polite to ask if she is willing to cover your job.

Sickness is different. It can't be planned and it's unavoidable.

olafisking Thu 10-Mar-16 09:29:29

Foginthehills my academics are in Education. In the school holidays they will be at home. Up to them if they work while they are there but they will not be in the office asking for admin support.

thelittleredhen Thu 10-Mar-16 09:30:04

My DS goes to Kings Camp, as soon as dates for that are available (usually around Christmas), I book him in and then when we come back to work in January, I put in annual leave for all of the school holidays that I do not have cover for.

I then know exactly what cover I have for DS and what weeks I have for jollies etc.

I think that with child care cover for school holidays, organisation is key and then you can have more room for flexibility for when DC are ill as you've not used up all of your "favours" for school holiday cover.

Although in your organisation you might think YANBU, YABU to have assumed that it would be OK.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Thu 10-Mar-16 09:34:14

Yabu, you should've booked it ages ago

Covering sickness is different to covering planned leave, especially given how few of you will be in

Foginthehills Thu 10-Mar-16 13:07:27

but your manager's decision it sounds like more of a courtesy thing than a fundamental ranking of your colleague's decisions over yours

This is the way I thought about it. A courtesy, and good management - thinking of the whole team, and ensuring everyone is considered.

Fishface77 Thu 10-Mar-16 13:33:12

If your colleague hasn't booked any leave that week then it stands to reason she will be in doesn't it?
If no annual leave is booked then surely it's first come first served short notice or not.

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