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Line Manager disallowing week's holiday - for me

(13 Posts)
Isabelle112 Thu 11-Aug-16 21:57:05

At a bit of a loss. Work in higher education in a support capacity. Working through most of the Summer. A window in September when the whole family could holiday together for a week - but line manager has declined my request for leave for that period because, at the end of it, there is a whole staff meeting in the department (in spite of a number of all staff emails exhorting us to take our holidays and come back refreshed). Normally, I'd go to a staff meeting.

Worried above all about consequences of asking again, I've modified my request. This manager's behaviour towards me is generally cold, harsh at times and invariably disinterested. Worried about implications for a good reference (though I work hard - am innovative - get good student and colleague feedback). Now I find that a colleague, same job, has been allowed that full week which falls just before the start of term. She's pretty shocked that I haven't been, given the similarity of our jobs and Summer commitments.

Don't know what to do - I am very tired and was so looking forward to time off with the family before the full-time and part-time jobs I have kick in. There is no consistency re holidays in the institution. Some departments, my counterparts can take time off in term but my line manager won't let us.

How to handle a potentially prickly situation (really, my LM is very difficult to talk naturally to) - thoughts gratefully received!

akkakk Thu 11-Aug-16 22:18:26

assuming there is someone above your line manager - go and talk to them...

staff should be treated equivalently - not identically, but with fairness and parity

redhat Thu 11-Aug-16 22:19:51

Unfortunately you have no right to particular time off. You have a right to 28 days paid leave per year (if you're full time) but your employer could actually make you take it all at once in January for example.

I'm an employment lawyer.

notyummy Thu 11-Aug-16 22:27:49

Isn't September a particularly busy time in FE though? I work in support in FE and we are asked not to take leave in September. I also don't let my team take leave then.

HerdsOfWilderbeest Thu 11-Aug-16 22:37:40

Perhaps she got in there with her request first and the line manager didn't want 2 people out at the same time.

I would assume September is a particularly busy time of year for HE?

daisychain01 Fri 12-Aug-16 06:18:47

In future I'd pre book some important dates earlier in the year to carve out the time. You can always cancel later, but at least you know where you are re time off.

And I don't think your LM is that unreasonable declining your late request for peak time leave. Sept is around admissions time, right?

lougle Fri 12-Aug-16 07:33:53

Do you have the same line manager or different lounge managers?

Piemernator Fri 12-Aug-16 07:42:42

I worked in higher ed for years and have known people have requests turned down. Plus asking for leave just before term will never go down well.

I would ask friendly colleague when she requested her leave, if before you then that will make perfect sense.

HunterHearstHelmsley Fri 12-Aug-16 08:49:43

Agreeing with everyone else here... It pretty much depends on when the colleague asked!

I've just refused a half term week for someone as someone else already requested and had it approved. We can't approve all requests all the time as we would fall well below minimum staffing levels.

HunterHearstHelmsley Fri 12-Aug-16 08:52:38

I wouldn't recommend going above your line managers head unless you are absolutely positive there is no reason you shouldn't have it. This has happened to me and it meant I had to tighten up annual leave and less people could be off at a time.

grannycake Fri 12-Aug-16 08:56:48

I work in FE and there is a blanket ban on leave in September. Obviously teaching staff are restricted to taking leave when students are off but normally admin staff can take hols in term time. But September the ban is across all departments as it is a particularly busy time for all staff

Isabelle112 Fri 12-Aug-16 09:50:06

Thanks all for your replies. To clarify - colleague requested leave after I did. Our roles are very similar - we work in the same small team, too. Unusually, for the department and the institution as a whole, we have to work over the Summer because we support Summer course students. That week in September is just about all I've got to be away with the family. It culminates in a staff meeting - and that's what my LM expects me to be at. Undoubtedly, an exception has been made for my colleague and there is no valid reason for this (colleague can't see it either).

This isn't the pinch point - it is all about the staff meeting. I am nervous about approaching LM whose behaviour towards me is as best distant.

RatherBeRiding Fri 12-Aug-16 17:13:37

Seeing as you are both in the same team and your request was denied but a subsequent request was allowed, I would take it up with HR. No point approaching LM again.

There MAY be extenuating circumstances why your colleague was granted the same leave period you were refused, but if even she can't understand why then I would approach HR and let them pick the bones out of it. On the face of it is looks like unfair treatment.

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