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with this back to work request?

82 replies

ShouldILTB · 27/08/2015 14:22

I cannot work out if I am being unreasonable or entitled to ask for this as part of my return to work package.

I want to request some kind of priority for annual leave around school holidays due to childcare issues. This is only going to be a problem around Christmas time.

In a nutshell I am asking to have the Christmas period as guaranteed leave (for one year at the very least) which I know is incredibly unfair but it's purely down to childcare issues. My CM has a week off at Easter, 2 in the summer and 2 at Xmas... essentially I want to make sure these are roughly covered by me.

Dad's working situation isn't determined yet so he may or may not be able to pitch in (It's long and complicated and we are no longer a couple) and I don't have a big support network.

For disclosure - I have worked several Xmases over the years, including one when I was heavily pregnant. However the department is only small and we do need cover. I probably live closest?

Am I a fool to even ask?

OP posts:
Redglitter · 27/08/2015 15:37

If someone at my work got guaranteed time off at Christmas purely because they have children or childcare issues there would be a riot. I for one woukd be complaining to senior management.

If you take a job which involves unsociable hours you have to accept you're going to miss out on things


ShouldILTB · 27/08/2015 15:40

I am thinking worse case here (if childcare is left solely to me with no help from my Ex)... sorry it sounded as though I was going to use the whole

"if my childcare falls through I am going to leave you in the lurch" as leverage which is not the case... I am just thinking out loud about the worse possible situation I could be in and hopefully it wont come to that.

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ShouldILTB · 27/08/2015 15:42

It's a 9-5 office job, not unsociable hours at all.

BUT I am now a single parent, I am pretty sure my Ex is going to fuck me up in terms of helping me, I have no support locally so I am trying to ensure the best way to balance my work and my child.

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ArendelleQueen · 27/08/2015 15:42

I don't think YABU to request it but if I were your colleague and it was granted, I'd be miffed. That said, it depends how much leave you mean. If you mean full 2 weeks, then YABVU but if you mean a couple of days, it's different.

Redglitter · 27/08/2015 15:44

You need to be very careful. If someone at my work asked for time off like that got refused then went sick they'd get disciplined. If they refuse and you go sick it's going to be very obvious you're not ill and how will you manage several weeks off on the sick. You'll need to get a line from your doctor

JacquesHammer · 27/08/2015 15:46

and I have no childcare then I will be calling in sick / asking for emergency parental leave / not going to work.... something which I really want to avoid

So you're already intending to have the time off whether they say yes or not?

I don't think it is unreasonable of you to ask. But it is perfectly reasonable of them to say no - and remember if you then ring in sick/take parental leave you're fucking up someone else's precious time off which I wouldn't do to colleagues that I wanted to be sympathetic to my needs

OnlyLovers · 27/08/2015 15:47

I agree with Red, it will be obvious you're pulling a sickie if you do that.

I don't know why you feel the need to mention, scored through or not, that your colleagues who will think you cheeky are 'mainly people who are childless'. It doesn't matter. Everyone needs their time off.

ShouldILTB · 27/08/2015 15:51

I am in no way suggesting that if I get refused leave I will go off sick.

However if I ask for leave, have it refused, explore other avenues, find an alternative but end up being let down again I am thinking of my ex agreeing and shafting me at the last minute then what would I do? I couldn't leave my child?

Sorry, I have a lot more going on than just the childcare but I do have serious reason to think I am going to have a real struggle going forwards (at the hands of a difficult Ex) and was trying to problem solve in advance. It's a very recent break up, but already the gloves are off so to speak and I am not sure I will have any support at all by the time my childcare problems become an issue.

I think I will ask but of course fully expect to be told no.


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DinosaursRoar · 27/08/2015 15:53

I think you can ask, but be aware that if it is granted and therefore you get 2 weeks off at Christmas so no one else can get any time off (rather than you all staggering what you get off/have to work), then it'll make you very unpopular.

If you are a working single parent, you're going to need good will of your colleagues, the ones who might just come in a bit earlier to deal with a something that needs to be dealt with early on your workload because you can't get in any earlier due to childcare drop off. They are the ones who will be the ones you need to ask for a hand when you have to be out on the dot to do pick up but your courier hasn't got here yet and you really need to get this sent tonight. When you really need XYZ doing today, but the childminder's just called to say your DC has thrown up everywhere and you need to go now... There's always going to be times when you need a hand.

I would instead view it as you'll ask for one week off, getting your request in as soon as you get back and see if you can find any other childcare for the other week, you have a year to find it.

As it sounds like most of the juggling will fall to you, I'd be wary of using a childminder over a nursery - nurseries normally only shut for the few days between christmas and new year and the bank holidays (much easier to cover than 2 whole weeks in a block), and if your DC's key worker is sick or on holiday, they get someone to cover, rather than you having to take a day off.

Pantsonrabbit · 27/08/2015 15:53

Sorry OP from your original post I took it as being this Christmas. I know you're trying to get everything covered but you could be a bit too early with this. You could well have a different childminder by then or be using a nursery though wher I live many of them close over the Christmas holidays. We had lady at work who put her daughter in nursery afternoons. She started last September but she then found out it closed 23 December until after new year. She had used all her holidays as they had been doing a house up to move into and all the family ice abroad. She was given the time off a and was paid. One person was Hmm about this but she could hardly stick her daughter in a draw until she finished work. Have you spoken to your boss at all about your concerns?

ChazsBrilliantAttitude · 27/08/2015 15:55

Is it the sort of job where you could work from home, if your childcare plans collapse at the last minute?

G1veMeStrength · 27/08/2015 15:55

Of course YANBU to request it. The onus is on your employer to decide if there is a valid business reason to accept or reject it.

They may decide they can't agree to it as there would be uproar from the existing staff. Then again they may decide that it is fine because looking at the stats it doesn't really need to be covered for some of the time anyway, or it fits in well with Fred's request to work Christmas because he wants all of February off, or whatever else.

If your colleagues want a particular working pattern/contract/agreement then they have every right to put in a request, just like you. If they are going to moan because you've put in a request and they haven't, they need to shut up quite frankly.

ShouldILTB · 27/08/2015 15:56

Just to reiterate, I am not planning to go off sick if leave is refused, just that I worry my ex will agree to childcare and let me down at the 11th hour he is a spiteful fuck but that is a whole other thread and I was jsut being "worse case scenario"

It's the people on this thread who openly have said they are childless who say they'd make a formal complaint if my request was granted and as my work colleagues are childless I expect they will have a similar view?

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DinosaursRoar · 27/08/2015 15:56

oh X post re your ex, then I'd definately look at nurseries, you need the reliability - plus if you couldn't get the time off when the nursery is shut, many nursery workers will do babysitting on their day off and they might be prepared to look after your DC in your home for the day.

DinosaursRoar · 27/08/2015 15:59

exploring working from home options for worse case situation is also a good idea.

ShouldILTB · 27/08/2015 16:00

Thanks for the ideas. CM is a family friend and is giving me a good rate. Probably not as good as a nursery BUT for a childminder in my area it is a good deal.

I know I am completely overthinking things / disasterising (is that even a word?) things and generally being really OTT.

I am just in self protection mode at the moment and trying to think of all the things I can do the minimise stress and worry both now and moving onwards.

Working from home could be a winner actually!

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ilovesooty · 27/08/2015 16:01

So you'll be on maternity leave this Christmas and are planning to ask for priority leave for next Christmas?

Yes, I think that it would be unreasonable to grant you that at your colleagues` expense.
I think you should be exploring alternative paid childcare options.

ShouldILTB · 27/08/2015 16:04

But did work Christmas 2013 and 2014?? If that counts at all (I was heavily pregnant in 2014 and knew I'd be off this year so volunteered in the interests of fairness. I worked until I was 39w and finished 2nd Jan)

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ScarletRuby · 27/08/2015 16:09

Yep YABU. Children don't trump other people's wishes.

ilovesooty · 27/08/2015 16:10

We can't really assess how that makes a difference without knowing how many are in the team and what their requests have been in comparison to yours.

I just think giving anyone priority simply because they're a parent is unreasonable.

GobShites · 27/08/2015 16:11

I have a DS and I'm hoping to get Christmas off this year as my childminder also has the two weeks off.

However if I wanted it to be guaranteed that I could have it off then I would have asked to go back to work as part term time only (you don't have to have the whole 14 weeks off).

If one of my colleagues was granted this, I would definitely raise a grievance as really you should only be guaranteed the time off if you don't officially work those holidays.

AyeAmarok · 27/08/2015 16:13

I would be very unimpressed if I received this request from one of my team. And equally unimpressed if my employer allowed someone to do this at the expense of the other people in the team.

YABU. And I'm a bit Hmm that the PPs seem to think it reasonable to ask this.

nicestrongtea · 27/08/2015 16:16

You have 16 months to arrange childcare for a period of 2 weeks !

I think you are overstressing and need to get some perspective tbh.
If you came to me citing CC issues as the reason for leave in 16 months time I would be Hmm

NerrSnerr · 27/08/2015 16:18

I think you need to look for different childcare or a different job. It's not fair that you get all the time off and childcare problems are your problem, not your employers and definately not your colleagues. Just because people don't have children doesn't mean they don't want to enjoy Christmas.

Loraline · 27/08/2015 16:25

how far in advance are you allowed to book holiday. Can you put your holiday request in now, effectively blocking it off but not making it an issue in terms of return to work?

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