Can a company deduct holiday if they told you wrong and you used it?(19 Posts)
Before I went on maternity leave, I asked my company how much holiday I would accur and if I could add it on the end. They told me it would be 25 days and gave me the breakdown of why. They then said if I returned when I wanted in Jan, I'd have 1 day left from the previous year to add to the current one.
I came back a few weeks back and they are now saying they made a mistake, it should have been 21 days as they'd quoted bank holiday entitlement for a full time employee and I work part time. They have taken 3 days off this year's entitlement to cover it which, as I work 3 days, is effectively a week! Can they do this? I don't see why I should suffer for their mistake?
I’d say if you have it in writing then yes you should be fine. If someone verbally said it then not really as they’d probably infer ‘we were talking about FT employees’.
I suspect they can as the days/hours annual leave should be in your contract. They might offer it to you as unpaid leave.
My work has done this many times to employees as the line managers work out the leave entitlement for staff and they are awful at it. We used to have a dedicated HR team but they were disbanded and it's a disaster now.
"Can they do this? I don't see why I should suffer for their mistake?"
The suffering seems to be that you took the leave (as you added it to the end of your maternity leave) but might have made a different choice about when you took it had they not made the error. You are still getting the same number of days off.
What do you have in writing about this?
Yes they can do this, just like if you're overpaid you have to pay it back.
The bank holiday thing confuses me massively and it's obviously not just me because people often post queries about them on here if they work part-time.
So you get less holiday because you are part-time. Have they calculated correctly which bank holidays you would have worked if you had been in work? I'd check that with them because they might have just deducted all of them.
I work in HR - if it was our mistake as a company we wouldn’t do this to you
Personally I always double check my allowances and suggests everyone else does too to make sure nothing is incorrect.
Seems a little bit stingy but they’re not taking holiday away from you, just that you might have chosen differently when to take it.
Odd that you didn’t notice it was wrong though. You accrue holiday exactly the same when on maternity leave as you do when in work, nothing is any different so there shouldn’t have been any need to ask them at all really. The only thing that changes in respect of holiday when on maternity leave is when you take it, not the amount you get.
I'm not 'entitled', that seems an incredibly unfair comment. The point is I had no idea how my holiday worked on maternity leave, it completely confuses me which is why I asked HR! I was 7 months pregnant, exhausted and the whole holiday thing with being part time genuinely confuses me. I get that I technically got to take the week but had I have known it would come out of this year, I would have come back earlier, it was lovely to have but not essential and at a quiet time of work. I need my full years weeks for childcare - my mil has baby whilst I work and needs a break too and has actually planned holidays and booked commitments
In writing they said along the lines of
You have x number of days left for 2016, x number of days in 2017 for bank holidays and x number for 2017 holiday which makes 25. If you return when you plan on x then you will have used 24 so will have 1 day left which can be added to 2018.
To be honest, I didn't check that closely anyway the breakdown, I'd asked HR and got a response that seemed feasible
When they gave you the calculation that was your opportunity to double check and query if it didn't appear right. Had you done this, you may have benefitted from a principle called promissory estoppel, but your failure to do so means that they are entitled to repayment for the excess days, or to reduce your entitlement for the rest of the holiday year.
If they do require repayment, you should be able to negotiate paying it back over a reasonable period.
Thanks Bombardier, I get that but it honestly didn't seem wrong, it was a year and a bit of holiday plus extras and to me it seemed about right although I didn't have a clue. We aren't talking about loads of days so it's not like they told me I had 40 or something which would have seen excessive. I also forwarded the email on to my manager and said I'd like to do as this email says please and she didn't pick it up either so if my boss and HR didn't notice, I'm not sure why people think I was unreasonable not to have when I specifically asked for clarification because I didn't know what I'd be entitled to
So you get less holiday because you are part-time. Have they calculated correctly which bank holidays you would have worked if you had been in work? I'd check that with them because they might have just deducted all of them
That’s not how it works.
No I have to admit they did calculate it wrong? Now I see what they gave me for bank holidays this year, I can see what they quoted in the email is double that. They are right but I didn't know it at the time and have now relied on it. It is really going to mess me up with childcare, I have 2 other children too (born at a different time of year to my youngest so holiday was totally different due to going over 2 years) who will have school holidays and I honestly don't know what I'll do. It looks like the family holiday we booked will have to be cancelled as hubby may have to take time off then instead. This seems really unfair to me though as I would have come back a week earlier when my parents could have covered. I'm not just frustrated because I want what I'm not entitled to, I'm frustrated because their mistake is going to really cause me problems
Op not ideal but you or Dh could ask for a week unpaid parental leave to cover the extra week?
Is there any way you can discuss this with them and negotiate unpaid leave on some days? So you don't have to take loads of unpaid time of in one go?
Yeah thanks Ricstar, I think thats what we will have to do. I'm still waiting to hear back from HR from my last email but I don't think they will budge. I asked for unpaid leave when my child was sick for this very reason and was told I had to use holiday. Think it might be time to look elsewhere. Thanks for the help everyone
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