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Personal leave - is this odd, or normal?

(19 Posts)
fleacircus Tue 07-Oct-08 21:39:43

DP took yesterday off work to look after poorly 9mth old DD. Today he was told he could take it either as holiday or parental leave, but he's already used those up for the year. So there's no (paid or unpaid) leave for domestic emergency, instead he's got to make up the hours.

Just seems odd to me, the company he works for was listed as being one of the most family friendly in a Guardian article a while ago. Apparently his manager seemed really surprised when DP told him why he'd been home. There are only men in his team and I'm wondering if that makes a difference.

Slightly put out by it because I think I can get paid time to look after a sick child but we were both definite when I went back to work that we'd take turns and that it wouldn't always fall to me.

feedthegoat Tue 07-Oct-08 21:43:36

Seems harsh to me but Both myself and DH work for public sector who have pretty good policies for work/life balance.

BeHereNow Tue 07-Oct-08 21:46:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elliott Tue 07-Oct-08 21:47:11

there is emergency leave (unpaid) - you should be able to find the details on the relevant govnt website. This is only supposed to be what you need to make 'alternative arrangements'- there isn't any general entitlement to time off when children are ill. I think most people have to take holiday or leave or make up the time.
Would it be simpler for him to make up the hours?
I know its galling if you're going to end up doing the lion's share if it is easier for you - same thing happened to me when dh had a job that was much less flexible.

Lubyloo Tue 07-Oct-08 21:47:26

Seems normal to me. I have never been paid for time off when DD has been ill and would not expect to be.

DraculaNeedsArteries Tue 07-Oct-08 21:47:30

I think that it is company discretion.

I get an "emergency leave for dependants" which is designed to be time which you need to take off at the last minute. Officially it shouldn't necessarily be to look after a child - but find aternative childcare (yeah like someone else will take a sick child hmm), although within my department it is operated such that you can get away with a full day. It should really be a couple of hours here and a couple of hours there.

It is not expected that this will be more than a total of 2 days per year.

ChasingSquirrels Tue 07-Oct-08 21:48:07

seems reasonable to me that he has to use holiday or unpaid leave. Whether making the hours up is reasonable depends on how they have to be made up and whether this is feasible.

BeHereNow Tue 07-Oct-08 21:48:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

onepieceoflollipop Tue 07-Oct-08 21:48:20

He needs to check with HR department how much time he has taken off so far.

Afaik most parents with a child under 6 (older if the child has sn) are entitled to several weeks of unpaid leave during the child's first 6 years of life. (unpaid parental leave). There are conditions attached, e.g. if several colleagues are already off your employer might not grant a certain week etc)

You need flowerybeanbag or someone else to explain better I think.

elliott Tue 07-Oct-08 21:48:28

sorry, too slow - I see beherenow has given you all the relevant details.

LittleB Tue 07-Oct-08 21:48:33

I always save some of my annual leave until near the end of the year in case I need to take it to look after DD (dh uses his occasionally but gets less than me). Shouldn't your DH have known how much holiday he had left?
I may be wrong but I thought parental leave was unpaid and had to be taken in blocks of a minimum of 1 week, max of 6mths per year. I didn't think you could use unpaid parental leave just for odd days.
But when dd is ill I also try and do what your DH will have to do and make up the hours.I work for a local authority who are pretty good employers too.
It is farily flexible of them to allow your DH the cahnce to make up the hours.
In future I'd reserve some annual leave jsut in case.
I expect someone will come along who has more definite answers to this though.

bozza Tue 07-Oct-08 21:48:33

I would think that was normal tbh. What has he used his parental leave on? Any time I have taken off with the children being poorly has always been annual leave. Although once DD goes to school I might be able to make up hours instead as I am part time. I usually save a few days for any such event.

avenanap Tue 07-Oct-08 21:48:35

He should be able to get time off in an emergency to care for a sick child/collect them from school which is unpaid.

Here you go, it's the same policy everywhere, EU law. Don't you just love them?

DraculaNeedsArteries Tue 07-Oct-08 21:50:36

onepiece...yes you are entitled to 13 weeks off (I think it is 13)

But they must be taken as full weeks. So if you take a Monday off but work Tues-Fri you effectively use a whole weeks parental leave.

That way it is quite easy to have used hte 13weeks parental leave on 13 seperate occassions of 1 day.

elliott Tue 07-Oct-08 21:50:44

Parental leave is different and has less flexibility in how it is taken (unless the employer has chosen to offer a more flexible scheme than allowed for in law). Its supposed to be planned time off, not used at short notice for emergencies.

LittleB Tue 07-Oct-08 21:51:48

Sorry - typing a bit wrong there - need to get some sleep!

avenanap Tue 07-Oct-08 21:54:56

The parental leave should be different to time off for dependants. This can be used for someone the employee is caring for (an elderly/sick parent or child). They do not get paid for the time off and can only take of a 'reasonable amount' of time off, a employment tribunal found three weeks whilst a child had chicken pox excessive.

flowerybeanbag Wed 08-Oct-08 08:51:31

fleacircus I'm concerned that you say there no paid or unpaid leave for this type of thing. There is a legal right to unpaid leave for emergencies like this as people have said. Have a read here about it. It can be used for a child's illness, but for a maximum of a couple of days - a parent should be using it to make alternative childcare arrangements for the duration of sickness, it's for emergencies, not specifically to care for a child.

So if he's been told he can't have unpaid leave that's not correct. But if he wants to be paid it's perfectly reasonable to ask him to take it from holiday. If he's used up all his holiday entitlement that's not his employer's fault.

Parental leave is different, is usually a planned block of time, often to cover school holidays or similar, notice has to be given and an employer can postpone it.

fleacircus Thu 09-Oct-08 20:22:00

He took the parental leave (4wks annual entitlement) to look after DD full time while I went back to work; it saw us through from the end of my maternity leave until the school summer holidays. We were both very keen for him to take a turn at a significant chunk of 'primary caring'. He had saved some holiday entitlement but our CM is going on holiday in November so he will be using it then to look after DD.

I had assumed that any additional days would be likely to be unpaid, it just struck both of us as odd that there's no arrangement for that in his workplace. And obviously as FloweryBeanBag and BeHereNow have both explained, that's not the case, so his HR dept must have made a mistake. He was also just a bit wrong-footed I think by his new staff manager's complete astonishment that such a situation might arise!

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