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AIBU to dock this employees pay

(203 Posts)
Fruitsaladjelly Mon 15-Apr-19 19:53:54

I have an employee who is employed 5 days per week but one of these days is spent at University studying for a professional qualification, the company also funds the course fees as this will be a benefit to us in the long term. This employee works in another office and therefore I don’t have direct daily contact. Today would normally be a university day but they are now on Easter holidays so I called to speak to her only to find she hadn’t come into work because Tuesdays are her uni day! Next week the same person has booked Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off as annual leave, no mention of Tuesday although she clearly is away for the entire week despite being paid to work Tuesdays. This is is more of a wwyd I suppose. I expect her in work if not pursuing the professional qualification, I expect extra study time to be completed in her own time as I personally feel being paid to study and having her course fees covered is perk enough so I don’t think calling the days ‘study days’ is good enough should that excuse be given. In any case I very much doubt she intends to take ‘study’ away on holiday despite it being a paid work day. It feels a bit CF

DizzyPhillips Mon 15-Apr-19 19:55:40

Have you clarified this with her? Is it in her contract?

19lottie82 Mon 15-Apr-19 19:56:21

YANBU, she should be on work if uni isn’t on! I own a business and our apprentice attends college one day a week. When it’s not term time then he is expected to come into work.

I would take another day off her annual leave.

Surfskatefamily Mon 15-Apr-19 19:56:23

I think it has to have been made clear in advance and probably on paper/ email otherwise she will assume shes doing nothing wrong.
You cant just dock pay

HBStowe Mon 15-Apr-19 19:58:31

You can only dock her pay if it’s in her contract that you will do so in these circumstances. Have you discussed it with her so she knows she’s expected in during the holidays and that she will have pay docked if she doesn’t? If you have, go ahead. If you haven’t then there’s not much you can do this time but let her know in future you expect her in.

PurpleDaisies Mon 15-Apr-19 19:58:48

We’re you definitely clear that when she’s not at uni she should be in work? I can see how she got confused to be honest.

Waveysnail Mon 15-Apr-19 20:00:44

You obviously you dont have clear arrangements so no you cant just sack her hmm. Call her in and explain that if shes not at uni then she needs to be in work or she takes it as unpaid/annual leave.

wizzywig Mon 15-Apr-19 20:01:29

Op if you are my boss, then i know who you are talking about and yes she is taking the piss. She also barely turns up at work in school holidays.

IceRebel Mon 15-Apr-19 20:04:51

What happened in previous holidays? Assuming she's been at uni since September, there have been several holiday periods since then.

SittinOnThaToilet Mon 15-Apr-19 20:05:15

She's being a CF but you should make sure it's in her contract

Floralnomad Mon 15-Apr-19 20:05:18

The OP hasn’t suggested sacking her . Common sense says if you are paid to be on a course and the course is cancelled / not on that you are expected to go into work . Make her take it as AL or unpaid leave .

HermioneWeasley Mon 15-Apr-19 20:06:50

Make her use a day’s holiday and have a very clear and recorded conversation about expectations. If she’s studying for a professional qualification then she should be...professional.

I’d be threatening to not continue her funding next term - it’s an appalling attitude.

cstaff Mon 15-Apr-19 20:12:02

She is taking the piss. You need to have words with her and if she is off next Tuesday either take a days holiday or deduct her wages whichever is the norm.

Cornettoninja Mon 15-Apr-19 20:13:08

It’s a bad work ethic but that’s why absolute clarity is needed. Check the paper trail and see if it’s been made clear her study day is considered a work day and therefore she is expected at work during school holidays.

Double check your intentions with HR and then have the conversation with her about the need to take this holiday out of her allowance or you’ll allow it as unpaid as a one-off.

She’ll be indignant and outraged but she needs to understand she has a contract that works both ways. I hope she’s tied to the company for a period after qualifying...

Meandmetoo Mon 15-Apr-19 20:13:32

What does it say in the training agreement? If it states all Tuesdays off as study leave it could be an unlawful deduction of wages.

PoliticalBiscuit Mon 15-Apr-19 20:14:10

I'm fairly certain employers as well as employees can contact ACAS for free legal advice. I'd certainly run it past them.

sirfredfredgeorge Mon 15-Apr-19 20:15:04

Common sense says if you are paid to be on a course and the course is cancelled / not on that you are expected to go into work

No, not really, a completely reasonable alternative view is that that is the time for independent study.

I personally feel being paid to study and having her course fees covered is perk enough

What you feel is irrelevant, what matters is the contract and agreement between you, your employee might not feel that that is anywhere near a "perk enough". They might not be working for you if you'd made that agreement, it seems like you didn't anyway.

PoliticalBiscuit Mon 15-Apr-19 20:15:27

I actually have some sympathy here and think I would also not go into work. She works in the office 4 days a week and one day a week learning. I'm sure she has work to do over the Easter hols with coursework or something?

sighrollseyes Mon 15-Apr-19 20:17:42

Depends what the agreement was you made with her.
My DH did a uni course in an identical arrangement to this but he had one day a week off work ALL YEAR, because he needed the days during the holidays for the coursework and exam revision.
What deal did you make with her?

Witchtower Mon 15-Apr-19 20:20:21

I think I’m going to have to say YABU. I would assume some weeks will be classed as a reading week and I’d assume my Tuesdays are study days.
Like others have said it really depends on the agreement you have and how it is worded. If it states that Tuesdays are part of my professional training then I would assume I would unless specifically stated that I would need to work during holiday time.

Disfordarkchocolate Mon 15-Apr-19 20:21:15

My work has a contract for any study that is paid for by the employer, this is covered in the contracts I have seen. I think you should clarify what the standard policy is. I can understand her thinking its a study day when it's the school holidays but she will still need to book a days holiday if she wants the day off - she still gets paid for these days.

Fruitsaladjelly Mon 15-Apr-19 20:21:38

To be honest her contract has no details about the uni thing. After starting work she expressed an interest in getting this qualification but it was on Tuesdays, could we help fund the course etc etc. We agreed that things could be juggled on Tuesdays other people cover her work that can’t be put off, plus we would pay the fees. I think this has been going on since she started as other team members told me today that she was at Uni, they genuinely though she was. It sounded off to me so I checked with her college and they confirmed no courses are running. Everything has been done on trust so far so that office trusted she was telling the truth, no one reported her absence, I only found out by chance.

edwinbear Mon 15-Apr-19 20:22:01

Tuesday is her uni day - it’s Monday today confused? Did she not come in today or not planning on coming in tomorrow?

Meandmetoo Mon 15-Apr-19 20:25:52

In that case op iiwm I'd just have a chat about how disappointing it was to discover she was absent for study leave despite the uni being on break, as the original intention was that it would only be for the days the uni is open, and from now on the Tuesday off is only extended to the days she has to physically be in uni. Then get it in writing.

NerrSnerr Mon 15-Apr-19 20:26:15

I'm confused. Tuesday is tomorrow!

I did have a colleague in an old job who had one day a week at uni and she used to be off in the holidays to do coursework.

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