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Holiday on going back to work - can they really do this? Flowerbeanbag or any other lovely kind HR bods please...

(20 Posts)
NameyNameyChangerydoo Wed 01-Dec-10 19:41:12

My mat leave is due to end at the end of December and I have requested to go back 2 days a week. They are still considering my request (don't get me started on how awkward they are being about that) but have said it will be approved, but they are waiting for agreement.

I know that they like you to take your holiday before you start back, so I knew that I would be actually back in the office at the beginning of June including carried over hols, accrued hols and bank holiday.

They have now said that as I accrued my holiday at a full time rate, I have to take it at a full time rate, so they will count me as full time until the middle of Feb (which uses up all my full time hols), then they will let me be part time and use up the part time hols I will have accrued from end of December until then, and then I will be back in the office part time.

This is a real bugger as I don't have a nursery place for DS yet, he is on a waiting list but I thought I had another 6 months so wasn't panicing yet. They implied that as my part time request wasn't agreed yet if I kicked up a fuss it could be denied.

Can they officially make me do this? And surely if they are counting me as full time I should be accueing hols at a full time rate?

flowerybeanbag Wed 01-Dec-10 20:09:56

You have six months' worth of holiday? How'd that happen?!

You are correct to say you are either full time or part time, you can't be both at once. If your part time hours take effect in February you will accrue holiday on a full time basis until then.

Can you explain how you've got six months holiday to use up?

NameyNameyChangerydoo Wed 01-Dec-10 20:46:37

It only works out as 5 months as I was full time but am coming back part time so using up a full time persons holiday allowance but only taking 2 days a week as I would be part time.

I carried over some holiday as I couldn't take it before I left (5 days) (had to go on mat leave early due to ill health), accrued 22 days (full time hol while on mat leave) 7 days for BH, then 5 days part time hols up until end of holiday year - 39 days. If I come back part time 2 days a week that's 19.5 weeks hols (plus I would be accruing hols while I was back but using up leave if you see what I mean)

I have requested to be part time as of my return off mat leave (28th Dec) - isn't that what usually happens?

I am a complete novice sorry.

PavlovtheCat Wed 01-Dec-10 20:55:30

that is what happened in my employment, except I was not expected to take it before returning from ML, could take it up to the end of the financial year as normal (returned in aug, financial year end of march), I accrued holiday while on ML based on my previous part time hours of 32 per week, then, when I returned to work after ML, it was on my new 25 hour contract, between april-aug i accrued on 32 hours, including proportionate BH, and then from aug-april at 25 hours. I started my part time hours pretty much straight away, and my leave was calculated on both lots of hours combined for the year. works out that I get in total 9 weeks leave rather than the normal 6, something like that, because of the way my hours work now.

NorthernLurker Wed 01-Dec-10 20:56:11

My understanding is that annual leave has to be used in the way it's accumulated. So - full time leave is used up in a full time pattern. Can you not see that using it over 19 weeks is a mite tricky for your employer?

ThwopGoesTheMooncup Wed 01-Dec-10 21:03:19

Bank hols? Do you really accrue them on mat leave? Sorry for hijack but I have been done if I should have had bank hols...

NorthernLurker Wed 01-Dec-10 21:05:10

The rules changed fairly recently re Bank holidays I think. I didn't accrue them in 2007 but I think I did see that you do now - I was annoyed!

PavlovtheCat Wed 01-Dec-10 21:07:57

you continue to receive all benefits/rights/entitlements of employment that you would receive while at work and that your colleagues continue to receive while they are working and you are not. Which includes bank holidays.

something like that. I did not get any in 2006, but not sure if to do with the law not allowing it, or me not knowing, but i had extensive time off due to other reasons so decided not to push it when i found out i might have been diddled!

ClaireDeLoon Wed 01-Dec-10 21:14:04

If you take it full time so over a shorter period they will of course have to pay you full time rate for that period. Then you would start your part time role after that. You won't lose out financially surely, just have a shorter holiday period with more money?

NameyNameyChangerydoo Wed 01-Dec-10 21:19:27

Thanks Pavlov, thats what I thought would happen. The using up before I return to the office just makes it easier for my employer rather than me disappearing for a few weeks here or there. I don't really mind that.

NorthernLurker I can completely see that it is better for them, I wouldn't even mind doing it that way but for the fact that they have always done it as I described for previous mat leavers so I wasn't expecting to return so early. I don't have any other childcare for DS so although I am scrabbling around I just don't think I will find anything in time to start settling him in mid-Jan. I don't really know what to do.

As they have changed the way they implement it should they give me unpaid leave until I can get childcare sorted? I know that ideally I would have it sorted already in readiness for May but there is nothing near me, all childminders are full, no part time places at nursery available in Jan (but should be one for May), no family to fill in.

Thanks for your replies.

Honeydragon Wed 01-Dec-10 21:29:22

When did you start ML? In December last year?

NorthernLurker Wed 01-Dec-10 21:30:31

You can have unpaid parental leave as you have a child under 6 (I think it's 6 that's the age). That might be worth a try? Although if they have done it that way for other people I would ask why that doesn't apply to you. I don't expect you'll get a very helpful answer but worth a shot.

Honeydragon Wed 01-Dec-10 21:36:59

I went on ML in Dec last year and sent my HR in a total spin as they realised I had to take my first 6 month of holiday and accrued bh before I left in the December. They realised this in the November, when they calculated it I asked when I had to leave, my line manager informed me "3 days ago", and I was duly kicked out the office grin

I am also adjusting my return hours, so after my maternity leave ends I have my remaining 6 months accrued holiday to take. This is calculated pro rata for each week of ML. Then for my returning contractual week (that they have to make me take off as holiday they calculate from my new contract iyswim. So I do lose a little holiday for those weeks, although it all equates into days anyway, fairly.

flowerybeanbag Thu 02-Dec-10 08:59:09

There is nothing saying that holiday accrued at a full time rate needs to be taken that way, and you can't be part time and full time at the same time. However, the bottom line is the following:

You can request your part time working to commence from a certain date but if they agree the request but want to compromise on the date you are actually due back to work, there's not really a lot you can do about that.

You don't have the right to demand to take your holiday when you like, so they could say no to your request to tack holiday on to your maternity leave anyway.

Not sure what you mean by changing the way they implement it. Did they previously agree you could take holiday for 6 months in this way?

flowerybeanbag Thu 02-Dec-10 09:00:28

Don't think I was clear in my first however point. Should be

You can request your part time working to commence from a certain date, but if they agree the request but want to compromise on the commencement date and instead make it the day you will actually return to work, there's not a lot you can do.

Longtalljosie Thu 02-Dec-10 09:08:38

No, they're right, it would be unfair otherwise. You can only go part-time once your leave is used up. Once you're part time your leave entitlement will reduce accordingly (say from 25 days to 10), and you'll only have 2/5 of your bank holidays as well.

If you've accumulated two months (8 weeks) of leave, you don't get 16 weeks off. If you were part-time when you were accumulating it, you'd only get 8 weeks.

NameyNameyChangerydoo Thu 02-Dec-10 16:31:43

Sorry, don't think I have explained myself very well. It did seem strange to me that they did it like this, but that is how they have done it in the past, so that is what I thought would happen again. I asked before I left on mat leave and they agreed that was how it would work (not in writing unfortunately).

I have asked them why they have changed how they do it, and they said they have just been told by HR that they have been doing it wrong. Well, that's all very well but as they didn't bother to tell me what am I supposed to do with DS when they expect me back in Feb?

I have no problem with going back in Feb and if they had told me when I sent in my letter requesting changed working hours and asking them to confirm my first day back in the office three bloody months ago I wouldn't have minded at all.

They say you have to use up all your accrued leave before you return, which again is fine with me.

Basically, their lack of communication has left me in the lurch. I'll just ask them for some parental leave I suppose, and hopefully something will come up.

Thanks for the help everyone.

NorkilyChallenged Thu 02-Dec-10 16:38:04

Hope you figure it out, get looking for childcare but parental (unpaid) leave could help you out.

At my place of work we have to use all the accrued leave up within the first 3 months of returning to work which I imagine is to avoid situations like this (?) but I've never thought about it before.

lal123 Fri 03-Dec-10 08:26:50

I went back part time in October - having accrued 6 months worth of full time hols. Way it worked was this:

Was due back on 11th but wanted that week off - to start back physically in work on 18th. I didn't actually go part time til I was physically back at work. Therefore week of 11th I had to use 5 of my accrued days.

When I got back to work I still had all my accrued leave - and had another 6 months al due at part-time rates.

This has meant that I have a LOAD of hols to take before April - which I won't be able to take!

I'm v surprised that your employers are able to tell you WHEN to take your accrued annual leave - mine wouldn't have been able to.

ThwopGoesTheMooncup Fri 03-Dec-10 17:19:48

Just checked the bank hol situation- the law is not clear, so I won't get them as my mat leave is statutory only. Most firms don't give them it seems.

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