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To think work should make other arrangements?

(22 Posts)
DelphineCormier Thu 05-Jan-17 14:47:17

I work Saturday mornings. Weeks ago I requested this coming Saturday off work as DD and I have something to attend. Weeks ago I was told this was granted.

A couple of days ago a colleague who also works Saturday mornings had to start maternity leave early. Yesterday, work told me this means I cannot have the day off on Saturday as previously arranged, because they will need the cover arranged for me to now cover my colleague's shift. It's not a small office, but most don't like working weekend shifts because of their kids. I know there are others who could step in to cover for me if they really wanted to, I have offered to swap shifts but so far no one is willing to take me up on this. I have explained why I want this particular Saturday off work. Aibu to make a complaint? Normally I hate making a fuss but I feel they're taking for granted that I will always work the weekend shifts at short notice.

00Salix00 Thu 05-Jan-17 15:09:32

It was pre-arranged (and agreed) holiday. Your colleague's change in circumstance is not your responsibility. Take it up with your HR - I think they are potentially on dodgy ground trying to get you to cancel your leave.
They would have to find cover for you if you were travelling away/abroad, so hold your ground!

LivingOnTheDancefloor Thu 05-Jan-17 15:11:48


UrethaFranklin Thu 05-Jan-17 15:25:20

They can cancel your leave unfortunately, see HERE.

It's not very nice of them to do it but it is legal.

pizzaparty Thu 05-Jan-17 15:26:33

If you broke your leg tomorrow they would find cover. You're not obliged to tell your job what you're doing on agreed time off, for all they know you've spent £100 on tickets to something! Just reiterate that you're off as agreed.

DailyFail1 Thu 05-Jan-17 15:27:16

Can you arrange a compromise for example come for part of the morning then leave for the engagement? My guess is that as that colleague is on mat leave they'll need you more than ever and prob don't want you to resign over such a minor issue?

NapQueen Thu 05-Jan-17 15:28:18

Is your colleagues shift the same Saturday? If not then insist the cover is for your shift as agreed as you need the day, but maybe offer to pick up the other shift as overtime?

DelphineCormier Thu 05-Jan-17 15:29:24

I think my boss is worried about finding alternative cover for a Saturday so soon after having to deal with the who works Christmas Day issue. My worry is that if I say anything it's going to turn into a which is the greater need type standoff, and I'm obviously not disputing that my colleague needs the time off. I also think they're relying on me not making a fuss about this, and I'm anticipating "you can do it another time" type comments. I think they might be on dangerous ground expecting me to be able to come up with childcare at short notice? I don't usually make a fuss and I'm not quite sure how to deal with this.

DailyFail1 Thu 05-Jan-17 15:31:51

Tell your managed clearly you can't find alternative childcare arrangements as you thought the holiday was booked & ask for all the procedures to take it further as a grievance.

DelphineCormier Thu 05-Jan-17 15:33:50

Colleague A and I both work the same Saturday morning shift. Original plan was for colleague B to cover for me, boss's argument is that now colleague B will need to cover colleague A and I will have to work.

Unfortunately, the whole thing will be over by just after midday. Working just the afternoon shift isn't an option as colleague A and I are the only Saturday AM staff, the rest do all day Saturday. So I can't arrange a Saturday shift swap even if anyone was willing to compromise.

fueledbybacon Thu 05-Jan-17 15:35:57

YABU - your time off must not impact the business. It's unfair that this happened when you have time off booked but it's the way it is.

dollydaydream114 Thu 05-Jan-17 15:44:09

It's legal for them to do this ... but you are definitely not being unreasonable to be pissed off, given that you'd booked this time off well in advance and it had been agreed. Most employers do stick to the arrangements made, once leave's been agreed.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 05-Jan-17 15:55:13

As others have said. It's legal. It sucks and if I was your employer I would try to help you but it is legal.

Can you appeal to your colleagues' good nature and generosity?

DelphineCormier Thu 05-Jan-17 16:02:07

Does anyone know where they stand re childcare? I genuinely don't know what I will do with DD on Saturday morning if I have to work. My issue is work's line that they cannot get anyone else to agree to weekend cover so soon after Christmas, even though I worked Christmas Day on the basis that I was getting this Saturday off, and they knew this. They also know why I wanted this particular Saturday off, I'm not being awkward for the sake of it.

TheAntiBoop Thu 05-Jan-17 16:09:56

If you have been accommodating in the past I would make clear to your boss that you will not be so accommodating in future. Working Xmas day for this day off was agreed so it is very unfair (though not illegal) to do so.

Sprinklestar Thu 05-Jan-17 16:15:35

You can't work as you have no child care. Sounds like they think you're a pushover, OP.

DelphineCormier Thu 05-Jan-17 16:36:17

Trouble is they know I am happy to work Xmas day because I have no interest in having it off. We draw lots for Christmas shifts each year, this year I was down to have it off and usually don't work Sundays anyway, but offered to swap with a colleague who wanted the day with their kids. Whether I would have been so willing to do this had I known the day I wanted off would be written off is another matter. I will ask what they expect me to do re childcare, given my usual childcare isn't an option this Saturday.

fuel I don't dispute that. My issue is that the workplace doesn't need to suffer because there are plenty of people who could cover my shift. They just don't want to do weekends even as a one off. Really the cover they need to be finding is for colleague A's shift, which someone else would have been put in for if it wasn't for me having the day booked off.

BiddyPop Thu 05-Jan-17 16:39:28

OK - they can legally make you.

But you had done the cover for Christmas - and they don't want to reopen that particular question as it is so soon since Christmas - BUT YOU ACTUALLY DID WORK ON CHRISTMAS!

I would raise it with your manager, pointing out that fact in response to their unwillingness to seek cover so soon after Christmas. And that childcare is an issue, and you had agreed it weeks ago, and you have something that you and DD are going to. So there are quite a few reasons why it is only fair that they deal with the headache.

But they may come heavy and insist, particularly given the exigencies that have now arisen with the early mat leave.

Coincidentally, who will cover person A the rest of the time, or will you not be able to take any time off until she returns?

NapQueen Thu 05-Jan-17 16:46:52

Who does childcare for dd the Saturday mornings you do work?

DelphineCormier Thu 05-Jan-17 17:05:41

Trying to keep this deliberately vague to avoid outing myself. DD usually attends an activity on Saturday mornings which takes up the bulk of my shift- think something like dance with classes one after the other. It's a morning only shift, so I drop her before I start and collect her a little after she finishes- the center is open and she is allowed to wait and watch as cleared with the instructors. This activity continues through some of the school vacation, but weeks it doesn't I come up with alternative arrangements. I want this Saturday off to celebrate a religious holiday, and the activity DD attends will not be running because the majority of the instructors there will be doing the same. If I'd known in advance I couldn't have this Saturday off DD and I would have arranged to celebrate on the Friday night and I would have found childcare as obviously colleagues have to do some years on the 25th, but it's too short notice for that now.

TyneTeas Thu 05-Jan-17 17:15:14

Does the religious festival aspect give more strength to your case?

Some organisation's have specific policies over and above

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Thu 05-Jan-17 17:23:35

Check your contract, if it has a clause about notice for holidays, ie must be booked a week in advance, they cannot cancel on you without similarly giving you a week's notice to cancel.

It also states in Uretha's link that they have to compensate you for missed arrangements if they cancel, so I would add up the costs of transport, clothes, accommodation, and anything else attending the religious celebration may have cost you, and say if it is paid by Friday you will agree to cancel.

Or, if you really don't want to work and are sure they won't fire you (it doesn't sound like they are in any position to) you could call in sick. This is very risky as you could be disciplined or even sacked, but to be honest if my employer did this to me I would be looking for alternative employment anyway.

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