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Does anyone manage to ask for leave without feeling as if you're asking for a really big favour? If so please share your secret!

(29 Posts)
OrmIrian Tue 11-Sep-07 13:17:05

Because I can't! Even though it's my leave entitlement. Even though I try me best not to ask at difficult times and fit in with other people, sometimes there isn't any choice. Like this term - I'm already working half days from home because of DS#2 starting reception afternoons only (for 11 weeks!! But that was another thread). And now I've got to cover 4 inset days (one of which is DS#1's open day at his (hopefully) new school. So all in all I feel very uncomfortable about it atm.

I always feel like I should go to into my boss' office wagging my tail like a dog in hope of a walk grin. I hate it! I want to be assertive and demand my rights but I never feel I can. Any tips.

JeremyVile Tue 11-Sep-07 13:25:55

Oh Lord, you need to snap out of that way of thinking sharpish young lady!!

You are entitled to leave - you are doing nothing wrong in asking.

Think of it this way - Would your manger have the same squeamishness about taking their leave? I bet they wouldn't, so even if they did judge you, that would make them nasty little hypocrites.

Also, as important as a career is, its not as important as your family right? So in actual fact you should NEVER feel guilty for putting your family first, if you were to forego your leave for the sake of being a kind and helpful employee, what would that say about your priorities?

Think about those things when you ask, hopefully it will keep you clear on the fact that you are doing NOTHING wrong.

<Militant Employee>

OrmIrian Tue 11-Sep-07 13:28:21

"Would your manger have the same squeamishness about taking their leave?"

Yes jw my 'manger' grin would feel the same. That is part of the problem. He never takes leave! He had a hip replacement and was back in his office groaning in pain after 2 weeks last year. It really really doesn't help.

But thanks for the pep talk. I shall try to remember time <<<<shudder>>>>

flowerybeanbag Tue 11-Sep-07 13:29:44

Sometimes a bit of tail wagging goes a long way...
I suspect you are feeling this way because you know your boss is being more than reasonable and flexible already. If you are being allowed to work from home, presumably whilst also caring for DS2 (correct me if I am wrong there) fo 11 weeks, that's more than reasonable. And that's probably why you are feeling like you are asking for a big favour.
I would suggest not going in in a 'I'm demanding my rights' kind of way. You are entitled to take your holiday entitlement but you have absolutely no right whatsoever to say when it should be taken.
It is horrible and demeaning, but it sounds like your boss is being fairly reasonable so I would suggest not getting militant, as reasonableness has a tendency to evaporate in those circumstances.

hanaflower Tue 11-Sep-07 13:41:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JeremyVile Tue 11-Sep-07 13:43:05

FloweryBeanBag - you've made me feel quite queasy!!

Are you by any chance an employer?

flowerybeanbag Tue 11-Sep-07 13:44:43

Sorry JV! No I am not an employer, I'm an HR consultant. I am all for the pragmatic approach to get what you want... grin

Obviously if it got to the stage where it was looking like OrmIrian was not going to be able to take her entitlement before the end of the holiday year, I am all for a militant approach then....

Sobernow Tue 11-Sep-07 13:46:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OrmIrian Tue 11-Sep-07 13:55:27

Ah well flowery. I actually usually do fail to take all my leave these days. I think it's probably another sort of apologetic tail wagging grin as well as a guilt thing. But I do get 30 days a years so I suppose I can afford to be generous....

RibenaBerry Tue 11-Sep-07 13:57:58

Actually, I agree with Flowerybeanbag. Yes, you have a right to leave and shouldn't let yourself be walked all over (some employers do take the mick), but equally a "these are my rights, etc, etc" approach does not tend to help. Most employers do a lot of flexible things for their employees that they don't have to do (like allowing you to work from home for a delivery, or come in late because you have a doctor's appointment).

I think that actually you're at the right end of the spectrum. You ARE asking for something when you go in to request holiday. You are asking that the days you want be granted. I think that it helps to keep in the back of your mind that holiday is a right (so it's different to the doctor's appointment example), so that you're not too overly grateful though!

MrsPuddleduck Tue 11-Sep-07 14:01:24

I am lucky enough to work from home nowadays.

In the two places where I have worked in the past I have always felt like I was causing inconvenience if I had a holiday

In the end when DS1 was ill I used to phone in and lie and say it was me, as generally speaking they took it better.

RibenaBerry Tue 11-Sep-07 14:28:09

I know that that can be tempting, but I wouldn't advise risking it unless you can force yourself to feel ill too! If you lie about the reason for absence, it can be misconduct.

Of course, if you have a generous employer who allows you to use sick leave for your or a family's illness (common in the US, although the entitlements are small) then that is a different matter...

RibenaBerry Tue 11-Sep-07 14:34:30

That should say 'family member's', obviously...

MrsPuddleduck Tue 11-Sep-07 14:41:22

I don't work there any more thank God.

I never felt guilty as they were such a bunch of selfish, money grabbing men who had no compassion (they moaned when I asked for time off after DH's mother died suddenly - ie he had to break down her door and found her dead on the floor at the age of 57).

FCH Tue 11-Sep-07 14:42:32

OrmIrian - shock at being able to afford to be generous with not taking your leave. Whatever your capitation rate is for a day's work you are donating this to your employer for each day you fail to take leave you are entitled to.

I usually try to book leave as far ahead as possible, particularly if it is for a full week or whatever, and frame this request in a matter of fact "I am being helpful by giving you lots of notice that these are the dates I would like for these reasons but if that isn't convenient please let me know when would be so I can make arrangements" manner. For short notice requests I usually point out how much leave I have to use up and then say I wouldn't wish to take it all at once at the end of the year and actually I would be really grateful if I could take such and such a day because....

It usually works pretty well!!

Tinker Tue 11-Sep-07 14:43:57

Flowery - "You are entitled to take your holiday entitlement but you have absolutely no right whatsoever to say when it should be taken"

Is that right? As in legally?

Has never occurred to me to ask for leave though, it's mine and I'm 'avin' it. <<Very easy to be like that in my job though, honest>>

RibenaBerry Tue 11-Sep-07 14:58:24

Flowery is totally right - no entitlement to take leave on the dates you choose. Your employer just has to enable you to take it over the course of the year.

I agree that the OP should make sure that she tries to take all her holiday- but that's a slightly different issue to 'wagging her tail' when she asks for a particular day.

Tinker Tue 11-Sep-07 15:00:44

Wow, didn't know that. Luckily, work in a place where I've never heard of anyone being refused to take their leave when they wanted - and often just on a whim, ring in that morning

JeremyVile Tue 11-Sep-07 15:10:25

An employer must give fair consideration to any leave request.
Of course they can refuse if it would adverely affect the running of the business but hopefully this would already be covered by the employment contract anyway.
If an employer refused leave with no obvious justification they would leave themselves open to a grievance procedure.

flowerybeanbag Tue 11-Sep-07 15:19:25

OrmIrian not taking your proper entitlement during the year is a slightly different issue and you should not feel guilty about doing so.

I would always advise against carrying over holiday entitlement unless you absolutely have to. 30 days is quite a generous entitlement as you say, but if you are busy it's difficult to take that amount of time off.
However if you carry over say, 5 days, to the following holiday year, you are giving yourself 35 days to take in one year, and if you struggled to take 30 you will struggle even more to take 35.

I would suggest sitting down with your boss mid-way through the holiday year and saying something like -
'I am concerned that we are midway through the holiday year and I still have [number] days left. I don't want to inconvenience the team by having to take them all in a big block at the end of the year, so can we sit down with our diaries and book most of it in now?'
Leave yourself a few odd days for things that crop up but try and get the bulk of it booked in way in advance if you can.

RibenaBerry Tue 11-Sep-07 15:26:08

Jeremy - they might receive a grievance, but there is no legal head of complaint for a holiday request being turned down, even if the employer didn't give it proper consideration.

JeremyVile Tue 11-Sep-07 15:33:44

Ah, but there you get into the murky world of 'discrimination' grin

RibenaBerry Tue 11-Sep-07 15:54:46

True, true. But only if they're not nasty to everyone!

OrmIrian Tue 11-Sep-07 17:02:12

flowery - we aren't 'allowed' to carry days over or get paid for them. Not sure whether that's legal or not but it's how it is. I do feel like I have to be a bit flexible when everyone else is struggling to take leave at the end of the year.

flowerybeanbag Tue 11-Sep-07 17:07:43

OrmIrian that is perfectly legal, they don't have to let you carry them over - I only mentioned it as it is fairly common to do that and often people end up effectively losing holiday as they end up carrying over every year.
They do of course have to let you take whatever your entitlement is though, and end of holiday year is a nightmare with everyone running out of time to take their leave, so being a bit firm with your boss in terms of planning your (and rest of team's) leave far in advance is a good idea if you can. Even if you don't get to take it all exactly when you want to, at least you should actually get to take it.
Maybe it's something the whole team should do at a team meeting, plan holidays together to minimise disruption?

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