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Boss ignoring my (entirely reasonable) holiday requests

(36 Posts)
MadHattersWineParty Wed 25-Jan-17 12:45:02

I'm a nanny- worked for same family (single working mum, one child) three years in March, so have been pretty loyal and committed I think it's fair to say. Can count on my hand the number of sick days I've taken in that time. I'm punctual, flexible, work extra hours, cover overnights when boss is abroad etc etc.

My charge goes away in August and again at Christmas so I tend to take a large chunk of my holiday then. It's easier for my boss but not always totally ideal for me because they're both expensive months to go away anywhere, but I tend to suck it up, and take the odd three days leave here and there at other times.

Here's the rub.

On the 14th November LAST YEAR I mentioned that I'd like to go and visit my friend who's currently living in Barcelona. I suggested January (flights were cheap, I don't care about nice weather, just want to see my friend) boss says end of Jan might work but she'll have to confirm.

She didn't confirm. She just dodged it until the flights were too expensive and I just accepted it wasn't happening.

She then announces she's going on holiday with my charge in half term week- could I go then? No good for me- flights are pricey, my friend too busy that week so wouldn't see her much.

I've now suggested late March/early April. That's plenty of notice. Email gone unanswered. Whattsap message ignored. Will try and pin her down later but I'm pretty annoyed. I'm asking for about three days leave depending on the flights. I am not asking for the moon on a stick.

So my question is, how can I broach this with her (need to calm down a bit as I'm quite pissed off but I want to be assertive too) I don't think she's being fair- I don't think I should take my holiday only when it's most convenient for her- (it should be 50/50 I think but I'd settle for 30/70 as she has no partner or family in this country as back/up if I'm not there)

Any advice please- from parents and nannies- I'd appreciate it!

Wtfdoipick Wed 25-Jan-17 12:47:13

What does your actual contract state with regards to holiday?

alwaysthepessimist Wed 25-Jan-17 12:49:01

not a nanny, don't have a nanny so not sure but could you send her an email and word it something like 'I would like to book the following days off work etc etc, if I don't hear anything from you by (pick date) then I will assume that the request is approved and book my flights accordingly'

Or is that a total no-no is nanny/employer land?

MadHattersWineParty Wed 25-Jan-17 12:49:21

Standard- 28 days but does not state how these should be arranged- in fact when I took the job I didn't know about the August thing at all (charge goes to visit her Dad in the US)

Bobochic Wed 25-Jan-17 12:49:44

I think it's fair enough that your boss expects you to take your holidays outside school term time.

MadHattersWineParty Wed 25-Jan-17 12:56:52

Actually Bobochic, the latest request falls inside school Easter holiday. (Private school so starts really early)

But in all honestly if I do want to take a short holiday outside August or Christmas, school days are easier than holidays for her to cover! With breakfast club and after school club as opposed to an entire day.

Teachers are obviously expected to take all holiday outside term time but I believe it's slightly different for nannies.

RandomMess Wed 25-Jan-17 13:00:18

I would put in it in writing that as per your contract blah de blah you want to take your annual leave and you want to take either xyz off or abc and to let you know by z date which ones are agreed.

If she still doesn't then I would look for another job!

Wtfdoipick Wed 25-Jan-17 13:03:34

Thing is though that your employer can dictate all your holiday dates. You do not have an automatic right to take them when you wish. The major problem here is lack of communication from your boss about it all. Try to arrange a face to face meeting.

MadHattersWineParty Wed 25-Jan-17 13:08:15

Hmm. I always thought the flexibility with regards to nanny holiday was a little more give and take than that. What do other nanny employers think?

alwaysthepessimist I fear that would be a breach of nanny etiquette I'm also not brave enough

Wtfdoipick Wed 25-Jan-17 13:13:49

The flexibility is a courtesy rather than a legal right so although it is normal if she doesn't want to all you can really do is find another job. Try face to face first though since its much harder to ignore the issue then.

bibbitybobbityyhat Wed 25-Jan-17 13:13:52

I'm not surprised you are pissed off! She sounds unbelievably selfish.

MadHattersWineParty Wed 25-Jan-17 13:17:59

I do get that Wtf but I do show plenty of flexibility from my side. Yes I know she's my employer but it'd be nice to think it could work my way occasionally sometimes too.

RandomMess Wed 25-Jan-17 13:24:33

Thing is the employer is actually dictating something that should have made part of the job offer and contract.

The employer is being very unreasonable to just avoid this subject and not have a discussion with her nanny. Even if the end result is that she will only be allowed to take leave when it suits the employer the nanny needs to know this not be given false hope, strung along etc.

I wonder if the reluctance to have this conversation is that she is afraid of losing a great nanny!!!! Perhaps an increase in salary to compensate for only get school holiday time off could be negotiated so both parties compromise?

Wtfdoipick Wed 25-Jan-17 13:29:32

Yes it should be a two way thing and a decent employer would, unfortunately she doesn't seem to be a decent employer and as long as you do get your full entitlement she can insist it is all at times to suit her. No it isn't fair but it is legal.

BIWI Wed 25-Jan-17 13:29:56

Talk to her! She's being really unreasonable not replying to her, but you're not being assertive enough here.

You need to make it clear what you want, and get her to give you a date by which you can confirm.

nannyj Wed 25-Jan-17 13:34:18

I think you're absolutely entitled to take your small holiday when you like and it's a shame after working for someone for three years she doesn't feel she can accommodate you. In all honesty I've been a nanny for over twenty years and never taken a holiday when I've chosen to. Sometimes you give and give but don't get much in return. Hope you get it sorted and stick to your guns.

WatchingFromTheWings Wed 25-Jan-17 13:42:10

Thing is though that your employer can dictate all your holiday dates. You do not have an automatic right to take them when you wish

I've just learnt the hard way that this is true.

However that's no excuse for her ignoring your requests, whether it's to say yes or no. That's just rude.

MadHattersWineParty Wed 25-Jan-17 13:45:52

I'll have to arrange a catch up with her I think. She uses the child as a shield to avoid these sorts of conversations when she's home! Took me months to corner her about a wage increase.

lougle Wed 25-Jan-17 13:51:04

Legally you have no right to take holiday when you want to. She has every right to decide when you take all of your holiday. However, she must ensure that you get the opportunity to take all of your holiday and must give you adequate notice if she is refusing leave. That means that she must give you twice as much notice as the leave you request. So if you request 2 weeks holiday, you must ask at least a month beforehand, and she must say no immediately. If you ask for 1 day of AL, she only had to give 2 days of notice that she wasn't allowing it.

LightTripper Wed 25-Jan-17 14:47:27

I'm a nanny employer and our contract is set up so that we pick half the days each (as I understood that was standard - the few other people I know who have nannies all work this way I think). We have always stuck to that give or take a day (e.g. our nanny wanted to go Wednesday-Wednesday and we said yes - didn't insist that she couldn't pick another full week at another time of year). It's worked fine for us. Sounds like the law doesn't give you a right to this if it's not in the contract.

It sounds like she is being very unreasonable, but if PP are correct about the legal position, I guess how hard you are going to push it will depend on how willing you would be to leave if she isn't reasonable.

I would at least try to get her to pin down what her position is: is she really saying that she wants to nominate all the holiday, and is not willing to give you a choice over all of it? Or is she just being a bit crap at thinking about dates, and she is in fact willing to let you nominate at least, say, a week a year?

Then at least you will know where you stand and can make a decision to stay or look for something else.

MadHattersWineParty Wed 25-Jan-17 15:40:41

Thanks LightTripper. Legally I guess I'm not in any pod prion to negotiate but it does feel like she just avoids any requests that might cause inconvenience on her side (although I'll always be willing to compromise) until I just stop asking and it goes away!

The job ends in September anyway, the child is off to boarding school. I've been with them for long enough though that I would like to keep the relationship going and end on good terms though.

Cindy34 Wed 25-Jan-17 16:00:41

Is her job something that can be tricky to get holiday from? When you take holiday she has to cover that in some way, so maybe she can't get the days off herself. However it does not sound as though there is much communication going on, you need to talk about it, try to see it from each others view point.

MadHattersWineParty Wed 25-Jan-17 16:07:28

Her job is high-powered- I've ah ways been understanding of this though- late nights/early starts at really short notice sometimes for example.

However when her sister visited (short notice) she was able to drop quite a lot and do tele conferences from home, take the day off or finish early and go in late etc. So it is possible, especially with notice- but of course she'd rather not have to rearrange things around me. Which I understand, to a point- I am there to make her life easier! It's just I do lots of things that go above and beyond my contracted hours for her.

Bobochic Wed 25-Jan-17 16:15:06

I think you need to accept that your job - the very essence of it - is to support your charge's mother so that she can lead her life. The comparison between your needs and your boss making special arrangements when her sister comes to stay is invalid.

HSMMaCM Wed 25-Jan-17 16:18:51

Just remember to sort this out when signing your contract for your next job. Unfortunately at the moment she can choose, but is being very immature not having a simple conversation about it.

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