Holiday dates being disputed and now threatening dismissal

(30 Posts)
flippedoff Thu 10-Oct-19 00:08:11

DD (19) has worked for a major supermarket since 2017, part time mostly, but full time during her gap year. Now at uni in another part of the country they are happy for her to pick up an odd shift when she is home and remain on a student flexi contract. This contract began in August

Management has been somewhat casual in approach, possibly due to management trainee taking the shift reins before fully competent. Said trainee manager has had a number of complaints against him and a handful of staff members have left citing his errors and poor judgments as sole reason for resignation.

Now, back in March DD, when in a full time contract, asked for time off over Xmas. Manager was informed of dates in a message stating dates as 17th December - 4th of Jan. written exactly as that. Manager booked 17 December AND 4th January. Nothing in between.

When this error was noticed he promised to rectify this but didn't. He is now saying her new student contract doesn't allow for Christmas holidays at all, and if she takes this time off she will be dismissed. He has also said that his manager agrees with him re the way the dates were written, ie, that 17th December - 7th jan does not constitutes a date range and is rather two separate dates.

DD was considering leaving job for something new however now wants to stay to fight her corner. Is this worth her efforts?

OP’s posts: |
CalmFizz Thu 10-Oct-19 00:14:43

What does her contract actually say? Is she bank/zero hour contract or does she have any set minimum hours?

If she has a set part time work pattern, say 4hrs or 16hrs etc, then her holiday allowance would be pro rata of the full time holiday allocation, and I’m not sure if that would extend to 18 days of booked annual leave.

If she’s bank staff then I’d imagine the flexibility is mutual, and she can be unavailable to work over set time periods if she so wishes.

Many contracts do state set times of year where annual leave cannot be taken. Has she seen a copy of her contract?

BritInUS1 Thu 10-Oct-19 00:19:57

I'd be amazed if her contract allowed time off over Christmas when she works in retail

flippedoff Thu 10-Oct-19 00:31:37

She is meeting tomorrow to go over the contract but as you rightly pointed out it will say what she has been told. Her main issue is that the holidays were applied for in March, followed by this series of unrectified errors by inexperienced management. She had last Xmas off for similar reasons, and was assured in March that this year would be approved before only two days were lodged. No mention of holidays being nullified when new contract began was mentioned.

OP’s posts: |
CalmFizz Thu 10-Oct-19 00:36:06

I think ultimately, she needs to come to the decision of how much she wants this job. If like you say, she’s not generally happy there and feels it’s more valuable to have the Christmas break off (and is fairly confident she can get other flexible work) then maybe she should give her notice.

I can’t see a way of her ‘winning’ the argument of getting the whole festive period off and remaining in employment.

How much notice does she have to give?

Butterymuffin Thu 10-Oct-19 00:36:28

Like Brit I'm amazed at anyone on a casual retail contract aspiring to take the whole of Christmas off. It'll be all hands on deck! She was lucky to get it last year, and I know there's been a mix up but really I can see their point on the basis that it just won't meet the needs of the business. Everyone I know working in retail counts themselves lucky if they don't get asked to do both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

HeddaGarbled Thu 10-Oct-19 00:37:11

I don’t think supermarkets have any use for Christmas staff who won’t work over Christmas 🤔

flippedoff Thu 10-Oct-19 00:43:53

The trip is paid for, so ultimately and unquestionably she will be going abroad. She's saved a nice amount over the past year, enough to pay half her rent for halls and probably not have to work at all this uni year if she chooses not to. Unsure of the notice period, I will ask her tomorrow. Her dislike of the manager , (who is her age which doesn't help her anger at his approach to all this) and the way he's handled this entire thing is very much colouring her view right now.

OP’s posts: |
flippedoff Thu 10-Oct-19 00:47:51

The job isn't a Christmas role, more just work whenever you're about and we have the hours going

OP’s posts: |
VanGoghsDog Thu 10-Oct-19 01:11:59

If it's "work whenever" (aka zero hours) then she's just not available at that time, it's not booked holiday.

littleorangecat22 Thu 10-Oct-19 01:13:34

She's asked for almost 3 weeks off when she's not a full time employee, and at the busiest time of year. Not surprised theyre reluctant to approve that TBH because it's not just asking for Christmas off but the run up to Christmas through after New Year too.

Hesafriendfromwork Thu 10-Oct-19 01:20:03

I uses to work at Asda HR.

Christmas was an absolute no no to have off in store. Regardless of being a student or a student/casual contract.

If due to mitigating circumstances you got one Christmas off, you wouldnt get the next year off. As far as I am aware, all supermarkets operate the same

Its likely that your dd had this explained in detail when she started work there.

Its, by far the busiest time if the year. They employ extra staff then. She wants the whole if christmas off. To be honest I am surprised she didnt think it was odd when 3 weeks at the busiest time was approved si easily.

It's clear it was approved easily because it was genuinely thought to be 2 seperate days.

RebootYourEngine Thu 10-Oct-19 04:04:41

They probably assumed it was two separate dates because no one working in retail would expect that whole period of time off.

Christmas is one time of year that is just a no go for holidays for retail workers. I would say the majority of people in this country know this.

custardbear Thu 10-Oct-19 05:30:58

In all honesty I'd hand in notice a d leave early December to keep a good reference then find something else

Namechangeforthiscancershit Thu 10-Oct-19 05:51:24

It will all come down to what the contract says, but the outcome is presumably that she'll had in her notice in December and look for something else when she is back from the trip

blackcat86 Thu 10-Oct-19 05:57:33

I understand the temptation to fight her corner but as this isnt her career of choice is it worth the threat of disciplinary or further action? Probably not. I'd hand in my notice, have a lovely holiday and look for something else in the new year. I think the way your DD has put the holidays is clearly as a continuous time but its always open to interpretation.

littleduckeggblue Thu 10-Oct-19 06:02:04

Majority of retail workers can't use holiday from mid Nov until mid jan

Lolohboy Thu 10-Oct-19 06:22:42

I dont think theres much of a corner to fight. The errors were made under the old contract and she has a new one now, one which is useless to the company if she is going to take the entirety of their busiest period off. They have nothing to lose in fighting her. She should just leave.

swingofthings Thu 10-Oct-19 09:08:30

Even if they had agreed to the length of period when she was working FT, they could have retracted it when she changed her contract.

Legally, they can change agreed holiday if they give the same length of notice to what the length of the holiday.

She has absolutely no leg to stand on.

EleanorReally Thu 10-Oct-19 09:12:37

Well if she is away then they can't make her go into work, nor should she be dismissed if she is a casual worker, they are cutting off their noses

EleanorReally Thu 10-Oct-19 09:15:05

But she is not a reliable member of staff in this scenario, they can do what they want

daisychain01 Thu 10-Oct-19 16:37:43

DD was considering leaving job for something new however now wants to stay to fight her corner. Is this worth her efforts?

What is the point? Why spoil for a fight with an employer when she was already planning to leave. She would be burning her bridges for no good reason when she could use a work reference with a company that has employed her most of her career.

LIZS Thu 10-Oct-19 16:41:47

Retail jobs rarely permit holiday over Christmas and NY. 2 years running is pushing it. An employer can cancel holiday with notice anyway. Is her student contract 0 hours?

Mrsthomasshelby1 Thu 10-Oct-19 16:53:06

Totally shocked that anyone would even ask for these dates off when working in retail, especially 2 years in a row! She has to accept that she won't have the job after 17th dec.

BuffyFanGirl Thu 10-Oct-19 19:25:35

She had last year off AND booked this year off too? That's insane. Can't imagine her co-workers are too happy about that. Christmas is a no no where I work (in retail) and it's in the contract.
The idiot manager that authorised it should have honoured it BUT if she was planning to leave don't bother staying to fight it. Just resign closer to 17th December. And I suggest she doesn't get a job in retail again if she plans on getting Christmas off every year.

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