AIBU to think parents shouldn't get preferential treatment when it comes to time off work?

(994 Posts)
KwestTurkey Tue 30-Nov-21 22:38:33

I just read an article on Facebook about this. A parent had asked a childfree colleague if she could have some of her saved holiday days and was refused (understandably).

That's obviously a CF request. But in general, what do you think about parents and holiday requests Vs childfree colleagues?

I don't believe parents should be given priority when it comes to time off on any holiday, be it summer or Christmas etc.. I think it should always, generally, work on a first come first served basis. The amount of times I was refused any sort of time off in the summer because every single parent in the office had booked off the summer and they were given first dibs on those dates used to annoy me.

I'm a parent now but my opinion hasn't changed on that. I think if someone childfree has gotten there with the request before you then that's tough.

Same with Christmas, if you work a job that requires Christmas working, I don't think it's fair to allow the same people off every Christmas year in year out.

It's definitely something I've experienced in my workplace before and after having DC and it feels very unfair.

I really don't think it's anyone elses responsibility to ensure you get time off during school holidays or things like Christmas and that a childfree colleague has as much right to book the time off as any parent.

So...

YANBU - parents shouldn't get preferential treatment or priority when it comes to time off work.

YABU - they should.

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JazzyBBG Tue 30-Nov-21 22:41:45

Hmmm on the fence here as a parent, you have to accept to a degree that people will want that time off at certain ages. Equally as someone who pays for a lot of childcare in holidays it shouldn't be all the time. But what I don't understand is why people without kids would want to take holiday when the kids are off! I'd be avoiding it like the plague ;)

audweb Tue 30-Nov-21 22:43:30

Being a parent is my choice, it’s not for that choice to impact on other peoples ability to take annual leave. If you have to work holidays you have to find childcare, just the way it is.

Glassofshloer Tue 30-Nov-21 22:44:42

In theory, absolutely yes. I do not believe free time or holidays are more inherently valuable to parents.

However… we live in a country/world where the vast majority of mothers cannot afford to NOT work, yet school is 9-3, term-time only.

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a retired grandparent who is happy & capable to look after the children, what is the alternative?

KwestTurkey Tue 30-Nov-21 22:46:06

But what I don't understand is why people without kids would want to take holiday when the kids are off! I'd be avoiding it like the plague ;)

Well it's still summer, it's still a nice time of year to do other things, go on holiday yourself, see friends, enjoy the only bit of sun we'll get for the year or whatever.. I don't think childfree people should be unable to take any time off between the months of July and September. That was how it always was though in my workplace, just a given that you wouldn't be allowed any time off during that time of year (or any other school holiday), nevermind the occasion.

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RampantIvy Tue 30-Nov-21 22:46:30

I'm on the fence as well. Before DD was born I was happy to let parents and work colleagues who were married to teachers have first dibs on school holidays. Pre children we didn't want to holiday when the school children were off.

alanskisj Tue 30-Nov-21 22:47:00

I don't think parents should have preferential treatment, or it should be first come first serve. Things like Christmas should be shared equally, if you don't have one Christmas off you can have the next instead etc. Otherwise you get the individual who books all the 'best' days off at the start of the year and screw anyone else who can't make plans that early.

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KwestTurkey Tue 30-Nov-21 22:47:04

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a retired grandparent who is happy & capable to look after the children, what is the alternative?

Well put very bluntly, it was your decision to have children, not your colleagues.

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BrightYellowDaffodil Tue 30-Nov-21 22:47:20

YANBU. My life is not less important because I don’t have children.

But what I don't understand is why people without kids would want to take holiday when the kids are off! I'd be avoiding it like the plague

Because our lives still happen in school holidays - mid week weddings, needing a morning off to take the car for its MOT, wanting to go away with friends/family who have children, that sort of thing.

KwestTurkey Tue 30-Nov-21 22:47:28

alanskisj

I don't think parents should have preferential treatment, or it should be first come first serve. Things like Christmas should be shared equally, if you don't have one Christmas off you can have the next instead etc. Otherwise you get the individual who books all the 'best' days off at the start of the year and screw anyone else who can't make plans that early.

Yes that's true. I agree.

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womaninatightspot Tue 30-Nov-21 22:47:53

Some jobs you can sell a certain number of your holiday days (think it was 5 a year) at a fixed rate to your colleagues. I thought that was quite a good idea.

As a parent myself finding childcare can be brutal, sometimes it's not as simple as pay a childminder/ holiday club as there aren't any so it's nice if employers show some flexibility.

Glassofshloer Tue 30-Nov-21 22:48:51

KwestTurkey

*Unless you’re lucky enough to have a retired grandparent who is happy & capable to look after the children, what is the alternative?*

Well put very bluntly, it was your decision to have children, not your colleagues.

So you think 80% of the population should not have had children to enable their colleagues to go on holiday? They should give up an instinctive desire & crash the population because of our ridiculous working culture? Who would be nursing you in your old age?

StrawBeretMoose Tue 30-Nov-21 22:49:40

Agree with @audweb

Plenty of people without children might wish to have school holidays off, maybe their partner is a teacher so that's when they can go on holiday together, maybe try want to visit family with children when the children are off school.

I've seen people be particularly nasty about single people requesting leave over Christmas, when surely they might be travelling to visit family as logistically easier.

AndMatt Tue 30-Nov-21 22:51:28

The school holidays are basically the whole summer, by the time schools go back in Sept, the nights are drawing in. DH always needed some time in summer because he was a cadet instructor and wanted to take other people's kids away, DF needed school holidays because he was married to a teacher...

The rules should apply equally to everyone IMO and no one person should get to book all their holidays until everyone has had the opportunity to book at least 2 weeks

user0176 Tue 30-Nov-21 22:51:28

I don't think first come first served is fair, we al know the people that jump on it otherwise, but a rota system of sorts, so I always made sure we took it in turns to work in the bit between Christmas, regardless of family circumstances (was quite easy to do in a low turnover environment, appreciate that might not work everywhere). That was a few years ago, thankfully it's not too much of an issue now though I offer to leave my work phone on if everyone is off.

KwestTurkey Tue 30-Nov-21 22:51:29

So you think 80% of the population should not have had children to enable their colleagues to go on holiday?

I think it's not up to your colleagues to work every Christmas and summer because of your childcare issues yes.

Offering is great, not even bothered about people asking. But I don't think employers should automatically give priority year in year out no and I don't think any childfree colleague should feel pressured to cancel or swap any holidays they have booked if it clashes with a parents childcare nor should they feel pressured to work every Christmas.

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CounsellorTroi Tue 30-Nov-21 22:51:33

But what I don't understand is why people without kids would want to take holiday when the kids are off! I'd be avoiding it like the plague ;)

Sometimes you don’t have any choice, e,g if your partner or DH is a teacher.

FrangipaniBlue Tue 30-Nov-21 22:52:54

So you think 80% of the population should not have had children to enable their colleagues to go on holiday? They should give up an instinctive desire & crash the population because of our ridiculous working culture? Who would be nursing you in your old age?

Nobody said they shouldn't have children.

But they should be aware before having them that they will need to have adequate childcare arrangements in place for things like school holidays and that's it's not just a given that they will get first dibs on time off in school holidays!

Glassofshloer Tue 30-Nov-21 22:53:21

KwestTurkey

*So you think 80% of the population should not have had children to enable their colleagues to go on holiday?*

I think it's not up to your colleagues to work every Christmas and summer because of your childcare issues yes.

Offering is great, not even bothered about people asking. But I don't think employers should automatically give priority year in year out no and I don't think any childfree colleague should feel pressured to cancel or swap any holidays they have booked if it clashes with a parents childcare nor should they feel pressured to work every Christmas.

Then you should take it up with your boss, not expect most of the public not to have children hmm

KwestTurkey Tue 30-Nov-21 22:53:26

user0176

I don't think first come first served is fair, we al know the people that jump on it otherwise, but a rota system of sorts, so I always made sure we took it in turns to work in the bit between Christmas, regardless of family circumstances (was quite easy to do in a low turnover environment, appreciate that might not work everywhere). That was a few years ago, thankfully it's not too much of an issue now though I offer to leave my work phone on if everyone is off.

Thinking about it you're definitely right about first come first served. Rota makes more sense, especially for things like Christmas.

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Coldilox Tue 30-Nov-21 22:53:43

Glassofshloer people don’t need to not have babies, they just need to organise and pay for childcare. It’s what most working parents do.

KwestTurkey Tue 30-Nov-21 22:54:06

Then you should take it up with your boss, not expect most of the public not to have children

I didn't say they shouldn't, I just said it wasn't their colleagues problem.

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Brunilde Tue 30-Nov-21 22:54:16

I don't think it should be expected but I do think it's nice for colleagues to consider each other. Before I had kids I would leave Xmas eve for people who had young kids as I do think it's a special time of year for them, and you don't get many years of them being excited. Now I have young kids my colleagues have said I should get priority. I wouldn't kick off
if I didn't but I do really appreciate it.

Glassofshloer Tue 30-Nov-21 22:54:50

FrangipaniBlue

*So you think 80% of the population should not have had children to enable their colleagues to go on holiday? They should give up an instinctive desire & crash the population because of our ridiculous working culture? Who would be nursing you in your old age?*

Nobody said they shouldn't have children.

But they should be aware before having them that they will need to have adequate childcare arrangements in place for things like school holidays and that's it's not just a given that they will get first dibs on time off in school holidays!

Taking holiday, if granted, is an adequate childcare arrangement. If the allocation is unfair OP should take it up with her boss, not take it out on parents.

KwestTurkey Tue 30-Nov-21 22:55:50

I'm not taking anything out on parents I've simply asked if they should get priority over non parents when employers are looking at annual leave.

I am a parent by the way.

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