Annual leave & staff shortages

(13 Posts)
Lycra60 Sat 06-Jul-19 12:57:31

We are experiencing a MAJOR staffing crisis (public sector) with almost half shifts with vacant posts - recruitment ongoing, & long term sickness, either way no end in sight anytime soon. My question is can annual leave requests be refused because of vacant posts and sickness of other staff? ATM, some (not all) staff are working many, many extra hours/swapping shifts to make sure frontline is covered, care delivered & colleagues supported, , but need leave - so surely can’t be refused as it’s not short because colleagues are on leave (which I know we can’t get at same time), but rather they are on sick/posts are vacant. If nothing else it damages the relationship we have as already doing twice contract hours to help out, and only want week of summer with family. Thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
OhDiddums Sat 06-Jul-19 13:32:00

In my job regardless of vacant posts your leave requests can be refused if the needs of the business can't be met although I think staff shortages shouldn't stop people from having leave, especially over summer. Is recruitment being done?

Isleepinahedgefund Sat 06-Jul-19 13:51:06

You have to let people take their leave at some stage though, you can't get to the end of the year with them all carrying over 25 days or whatever can you!

I'd be really miffed if I was good enough to bust a gut to help out by doing extra, and my perfectly reasonable leave request was then denied because of staff shortages. I'd leave.

You have to treat your existing staff fairly and respectfully if you want to keep them and have a chance at solving your staff shortages. and be aware of their wellbeing.

NoBaggyPants Sat 06-Jul-19 13:57:54

You must be permitted to take your statutory minimum within the (holiday) year, but the employer can dictate when you take annual leave.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 06-Jul-19 14:50:15

They can dictate when, but if it’s a long term issue with no end in sight, it’s a bit short sighted.

They’re not going to be better off if you’re in a similar situation towards the end of the AL year and everyone is trying to fit their statutory minimum in. It might be worth making that argument to them.

flowery Sat 06-Jul-19 14:57:03

Employer doesn’t need a specific reason to refuse leave requests, as long as the individual gets their entitlement at some point.

My suggestion to make sure you get it is to respond to a refusal with “tell me which dates I can take instead “

Lycra60 Sat 06-Jul-19 19:04:04

Recruitment is being done, but will still take while due to checks etc, then notice to be worked. Some staff are literally doing twice usual hours, others coming in early/staying late/splitting shifts (mind you a few are refusing to do a minute more than they are contracted to, saying it’s not their problem we’re short), so feels bit off that those going way over and above are worried about leave to spend few days with family. Few are already so tired they’ll end up sick! Think i’m hacked off bit as one (who does ZERO extra hours and insists on taking every single minute of breaks), laughed when we said how burst we were, and proceeded to sneer that she only came back after 6 months sick because her half pay was starting, and she’s been granted leave accrued from that period! While we were all covering her shifts!!

OP’s posts: |
SnuggyBuggy Sat 06-Jul-19 19:08:04

That colleague who only wants to work their contracted hours has every right to, it's just a job, they don't owe you anything more.

I know some workplaces have a system where you exchange leave for money, would this be an option?

BritInUS1 Sat 06-Jul-19 19:11:26

I know some workplaces have a system where you exchange leave for money, would this be an option?

This is not allowable unless you receive more than statutory minimum

BritInUS1 Sat 06-Jul-19 19:12:02

I think if these staff are bending over backwards to help out then refusing their leave is mean and likely to lead to bigger issues

YeOldeTrout Sat 06-Jul-19 19:16:00

Not for vacant posts, I don't think. Lack of recruitment is your problem regardless of national shortages of trained staff or the valid reasons people have for being absent (maternity leave, put in notice & replacement not yet found, etc).

Sickness maybe is valid reason to deny leave on a specific date, but you'll get taken to tribunal if this reason is used too chronically.

I have a supporting role in managing an NHS Trust & hear a lot about their absence management strategies. They are moving to an 'over recruitment' strategy to try to get closer to offering the contact hours they are supposed to (paid to) deliver. Simple ordinary levels of staff turnover are enough to cause havoc in provision.

Lycra60 Sat 06-Jul-19 19:22:52

Unfortunately it is public sector, so no. I agree that OT isn’t compulsory, but over years it pisses you off that colleagues who do zilch extra are also one’s who bitch about working short staffed and know down to the minute how much sick leave, carer leave, etc they can (& do) take, while calling those who pick up slack daft. Supervisor is very, very young and new in post - inheriting the mess & trying to accommodate requests (doing lots extra herself) and poor soul seems to be getting criticised from all sides too. Don’t want to create even more hassle over leave, but i’ve not taken any since March, no sick days in over 7 years & working extra 10-15 hours a week to help, just looking for a week off!

OP’s posts: |
Akire Sat 06-Jul-19 19:23:07

People will just end up going sick to get a break. You can’t do extra hours without any end in sight and get nothing back.

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