Forced unpaid leave

(13 Posts)
LyndaSnellsSniff Thu 09-Jul-20 13:45:42

I work in a support role in a primary school. Only 3 hours a week. I am a term time employee so I am paid a yearly salary that is spread over 12 months.

I have asthma that is controlled by daily meds but I don’t meet shielding criteria.

When more children returned to school on 1st June I was told I could take unpaid leave (I was concerned about my asthma) This was "offered" via a group What’s App message. Nothing official ever appeared.

Last week I received a letter advising me that my unpaid leave would be extended. No consultation. I cannot get a straight answer as to why it’s being extended and feel i will be underpaid over the year as a result. I’m not happy about it but I’m not sure it’s worth pursuing.

That’s one issue.

My other issue is that, according to my contract I cannot give notice during school closure times ie school holidays. But, if I have been put on enforced unpaid leave does the notice rule still apply?

I will ask my school about this but wondered if anyone has any ideas about this?

OP’s posts: |
ChicCroissant Thu 09-Jul-20 13:50:13

I'm assuming that you didn't want to go into work? If so, that doesn't leave them with many options really.

Do you want to resign? If so, presumably you need to do that by the usual date (has the unpaid leave been extended until the end of term?) so I would assume you can give notice during unpaid leave but not the school holidays as usual.

LyndaSnellsSniff Thu 09-Jul-20 14:13:46

Sorry, I wasn’t very clear. My unpaid leave was, as far as I knew, for the duration of the last term (so from 1st June till end of the summer term. 7 weeks) I’ve been told now that it is being extended till 1st September. So my enforced unpaid leave (no consultation was made with me about extension) goes through the holidays and I will miss pay for that period.

Normally, I would not be able to use school holidays as part of my notice period but I’m not sure if my being forced to take the school holidays as unpaid leave affects this. It’s no longer a normal situation.

I’m undecided about whether to hand my notice in or not. I don’t want to leave with bad feelings but equally I feel a bit unfairly treated.

OP’s posts: |
Rockchick1984 Thu 09-Jul-20 15:03:00

If you are employed term time only, then you will still receive the same annual salary if your unpaid leave ends at the start of the summer holiday, compared to if it ends at the start of the autumn term, as you don't get paid for the school holiday.

flowery Thu 09-Jul-20 16:03:46

"When more children returned to school on 1st June I was told I could take unpaid leave (I was concerned about my asthma) This was "offered" via a group What’s App message. Nothing official ever appeared."

What did you ask for? Did you want to be off work or did you want to work but they wouldn't let you? If you didn't want to come in, what kind of leave did you want to take?

"Last week I received a letter advising me that my unpaid leave would be extended. No consultation. I cannot get a straight answer as to why it’s being extended"

They can't extend your unpaid leave if you are ready and willing to work, which I assume you now are, if you don't know why it's being extended. Do they know you are ready to come back?

Unpaid leave won't affect your notice requirements, although obviously they may be prepared to waive those in the circumstances.

SavoyCabbage Thu 09-Jul-20 16:10:26

She’s not ready and available for work between the summer term ending and September though as the school won’t be open.

Is it that you wanted to continue shielding when the schools returned and so you were told that you could and you were out in unpaid leave and you thought the unpaid leave period would end at the end of July and you would get paid as normal in August and return to work in September? But they have told you you won’t get paid in August as you will still be on unpaid leave?

SeasonFinale Thu 09-Jul-20 17:06:59

You are not paid during the holidays though. Your pay that you receive during the holiday relates to money you earned during term time , but is just split over 12 monthly payment. They should therefore have recalculated what hours needed to be deducted


IntheM00dfor7 Thu 09-Jul-20 17:57:35

Did the offer you a risk assessment & PPE ?

LyndaSnellsSniff Thu 09-Jul-20 20:10:18

@SavoyCabbage yes exactly that.

@SeasonFinale I have been told that I will receive no pay for August. I had assumed I would receive something at least, taking into account the 7 weeks unpaid leave I thought I was taking. So, instead of being paid for 38 weeks during 20/21 tax year, I’d get 31 weeks.

Risk assessment being offered now for expected return to work in September.

I will email tomorrow and ask about notice periods during enforced unpaid leave.

OP’s posts: |
ChicCroissant Thu 09-Jul-20 20:46:44

They will be working on the pay in the year 2019/2020, ie this year not next year though. Otherwise if you resign next year you will owe them money. Have you asked them how much you have been paid to date?

Assuming you work 3 hours a week for 38 weeks but are paid evenly over the year in 12 instalments - that works out at 9.5 hours a month ( 3 x 38 = 114) 3 hours a week for 31 weeks is 93 hours - which would be just short of 10 months of your usual pay. 7 weeks out of 38 is quite a big chunk, almost a fifth of your annual hours. How many salary payments have been missed to date? That's not including any pay for holiday that you can't take during term-time, which is often the case.

I would check the amount you have been paid to date and not rush to resign - you said you couldn't get a 'straight reason', but what reason did they give you?

SeasonFinale Thu 09-Jul-20 20:50:09

Yes August is included as the final month of 2019/2020 academic year and not the first month of next school year. So if you have missed 7 weeks they will deduct 7 week's pay from August pay and possibly some from September too.

flowery Thu 09-Jul-20 22:50:06

What’s all this about forced unpaid leave OP? And you not knowing why it was extended? If you were willing to work, or there was a different type of leave you feel should have been applicable, you should push back on that.

BlueBirdGreenFence Fri 10-Jul-20 17:47:14

Surely they've had no choice but to extend it as they can't take you back until they risk assess and they can't do that when the place is closed... So by default you can't go back until the holidays are over.

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