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zzahra84
19-03-09, 01:26 PM
Today at work a memo went round regarding annual leave and we were told to sign it and give it back to the office manager.

After thinking about it now I think I shouldnt of signed it?

It states that we are not allowed to take more then two weeks off at a time (unless we have extenuating circumstances) and we have to submit a written application at least a month in advance and it may/may not be approved so dont book anything incase they dont approve it.

Can they do that? As in prevent you taking your annual leave in full? I would of thought not!

I was planning on visiting my family in Poland who I have only seen twice in my life and havent seen for 9 years at the end of the year but two weeks is not enough time to fly to the other side of the world, catch up and spend time with them. I have asked if this would be a good enough reason already and have been given an unoffical no.

woolly
19-03-09, 02:00 PM
You might like to check your award (if you are under one) or with your union (if you are a member of one).

No, technically, they probably shouldn't and/or couldn't prevent you from taking all your annual leave in one whack - but really, it's another symptom of our workaholic times.

I know that it is common in my workplace (office) and has been for some time, that leave is approved at the discretion of the manager and subject to who else is off and/or what the workload is. I might like 3 weeks in April, I might have it accrued and be entitled to ask for it - but whether I get it is dependent on those things. If someone else is on leave at the same time for a month, I probably won't have it approved. If the situation is deemed to be incredibly busy, ditto.

It is now usual practice (not a written down regulation but certainly a practice) in my workplace that you have to ask in advance double the time you want - so if I want to have all of April (for example), I would have had to apply in February.

Personally, I have never - and would never - book anything before knowing that I had the time off - but I certainly know that I have recently moved to a new section of the office and it seems to have been common practice in the past for people to book and then ask for leave.

Not any more though.

I find it a bit strange that you were asked/made to sign something. If it makes you very uncomfortable, or you have a specific reason to be going to make a stand on it (like your Poland trip) you might want to check around (eg with your award/union) so you have information and/or ammunition BEFORE you make your stand.

Other than that...make damn sure you apply in good time, ahead of time - so that you have time to make your bookings if it gets approved, or you can negotiate it if you get knocked back. Also get in in good time, to beat your fellow workers to it (who might be applying for leave over christmas). IMHO you shouldn't have to have a "good reason" for how you choose to take your leave - the question should only be, the workload and availability of your colleagues. Certainly in a middle to large bureaucracy. Might be different in a small business/small office environment.

I'm sure it's another sign of the times. Good luck with getting the time you want, when you want.

Lydia
19-03-09, 02:41 PM
Hi

If you work for a fairly large sized company you might have a HR rep you can talk to - at least then you can confidentially ask them the implications and noone needs to know about it.

acaciaalba
19-03-09, 03:12 PM
where i work if we give 3 months notice of when we want it, our award says it cant be denied, but somehow they always worm their way around that clause, and they stuff you around until the last week before hand and you never know if they are going to give it to you or not until the last minute,, which makes it very difficult to plan if your partner has to get leave as well.
really they have you over a barrell, as where i work there is a leave roster which rotates, so you work all year and then THEY tell YOU when you are getting leave next year. and if you apply for long service you get stuffed about, so its a no win situation.

notmine
19-03-09, 03:43 PM
We have to put in for annual leave 3 months prior, and even then they may not approve it.
I was asked back in November to put in all my annual leave immediatly for this year in or you couldn't take it at all.
We are not allowed to take more than 2 weeks in a row generally.

HedgeWitch
19-03-09, 03:45 PM
First question I would be asking is,

Why are they doing this?

Followed up by

How stable is this company at the moment?

Then go from there, in my own personal experience when companies have asked us to sign on the dotted line for things like this it was an indication that times were not to healthy for the company, both of the companies that asked me went belly up within 6-9 months but I got out with all my entitlements before then, others were not so lucky.

Just another thing to take into consideration.

Hedgy

ranger_
19-03-09, 04:04 PM
I think you might find you come under workchoices award by the sounds of things.
I was told to do something similar to my employees because they kept on taking sickies the day before or after a public holiday weekend. I thought this was in the award that I didnt have to pay them for doing this without a doctors certificate but because we are a pty ltd company we come under workchoices so instead I have to get them to sign an agreement.

zzahra84
19-03-09, 04:35 PM
This is a long established (40 years this year) Real Estate agency that is thriving.

There are 16 employees.

From what I can gather one of the other girls decided to take 5 weeks off over Christmas and "informed" the boss she has booked flights etc. and is going to be away from .... to .... and they werent happy about the time of years she picked (couple weeks before end of year close to couple of weeks after re-opening) and she is the senior property mananger, leaving two new and not fully experienced property managers to look after her work.

We are currently running with only three admin staff (had 5 till two went and had babies) so they may be worried about being left short staffed for too long?

I have picked a time of year when I have VERY little to do as we stop advertising about then etc. (I do the marketing) and generally just sit around twiddling my thumbs.

If they dont approve I feel I may just hand in my notice. I have worked her for 2 years without a single holiday, have worked public holidays as a favour etc.

shadowmystique
19-03-09, 05:11 PM
I can kinda understand the problem and I think that if you put a proposal forward too them well in advance and covered how the other staff members would cope while you were away and what they could do if one was sick etc... they may be willing to stretch the 2 weeks for you.

What the other staff member did was a bit rough on the company and this is probably a knee jerk reaction to try and prevent staff taking advantage of them.

ALLIE
19-03-09, 07:20 PM
A real estate business eh? The home of the mistruth and experienced trained BS artists. I think that should give you a clue as to whether this is legitimate or not.

.Freckles.
19-03-09, 07:23 PM
grin, i like the cut of your jib allie : )

acaciaalba
19-03-09, 08:38 PM
dont know about real estate buisnesses,,, i work for THE MAN,,,ie; the government,,,and they stuff you around something shocking,,,unless of course you are one of "The Chiefs",,, the poor bloody indians can just get stuffed !!

OakyPoke
19-03-09, 09:56 PM
Well we had a similar thing at work where we had to put in a YEAR IN ADVANCE what days we wanted off, plus we had to make sure no one else had those days off. I had steam coming out my ears till I chewed it over with my boss.
Turns out they were budgeting for the year ahead and with everything being so shaky at the moment they wanted to make sure they had everyones leave covered financially and that it would not cause a budget stress at any particulare one time. Plus its only for this year till things settle. Once we all knew that we went "Oh, well why didnt you say so?".
So maybe talk it over with your boss?

Things are so shaky at the moment. My brother works for a HUGE international computer company and his role brings business into the company. He has worked for them for 16 years. Even so he has - along with many others - been made redundant.

OakyPoke

zzahra84
20-03-09, 09:39 AM
I quite take offence to that comment Allie.

This is a very well respected independant business, that has outlasted all its competition over the last 40 years because of its impeccable record of respect, understanding and dedication to its client base.

I have worked for other agencies and know what they can be like and this agency is most definately well above the rest.

LisaL
20-03-09, 11:08 AM
I love my union.

I love being able to ring the union up and say - hr have said this, email the document to them, and get assistance.

also helps to have a workplace that works with the union.

the advantage of your union and having union delegates on the workfloor are

access to legal support
someone to look after you

but smart management is also pro union because instead of doing bucket loads of individual agreements they can sit down with the one stop shop and work out the best deal that keeps jobs and looks after the staff.

perhaps its time that you started talking to your mates about having a union rep on the floor of your workplace

simron
20-03-09, 11:24 AM
Gosh, reading this I feel lucky. I am not in any union and have always worked for private enterprise. I took a month off at a time(on several occassions with different employers) to go overseas and never had any problem with my employers. They are aware that I have family and friends overseas and they seem to realise that in spending all that money on the airfare that you need to make the most of it by spending a decent amount of time over there. I do feel "valued" as my employers have always been obliging to my requests.

zzahra84
20-03-09, 11:31 AM
You are indeed lucky Simron! :-)

simron
20-03-09, 01:29 PM
As others have said check out what you are entitled to under your agreement or award. I think you should speak to them(your employer). Point out the following in a way you feel is appropriate:
- You have been there a long time and taken no leave so far.
- You would have 8 weeks worth of leave if you've been there 2 yrs.
- It's a family matter; no just a "holiday".
- You have given them plenty of notice.
- Did you say you were going at a quiet time of year?

I would seriously consider leaving a job over this matter as my opinion is that family is more important than work and you must do what makes you happy. Hope you can sort it out.

tdg
20-03-09, 04:00 PM
OakyPoke - the company you work for must have a bad accountant or very bad advice - as your company is required to put aside your annual leave every pay period into a special account.

This is your entitlement as such your company should have that money put aside. If they don't run, run far away.

I have seen many companies do this sort of crap! And I have seen people end up with nothing

A 'well managed' company would push you to take leave as they should already have that money put aside.

tdg
20-03-09, 04:07 PM
OakeyPoke - that does not make sense.

Your employee is required to put aside your leave when it is accured every pay period. IE if you are owned 10 week Holidays - they should have already put that money aside.

It is money the company has already spent - so they shouldn't be budgeting for it

I would be very concerned if your company has not been putting your entitlements aside. And make sure they have been paying your super.

Anubis
20-03-09, 07:36 PM
What was the wording?

Were you being asked to sign away your rights or was the memo about the company position and just wanting each employee to acknowledge the preferred company policy?

Not my area but I suspect they cannot make unilateral changes to your agreement. Suggest not panicking but asking

Anubis

dark_horse
20-03-09, 07:48 PM
We have to submit all of our leave requests for the next twelve months at the beginning of each financial year.

We are limited to having a certain number of employees off at anyone time. Senior members tend to get holidays off before others although some areas take it in turn each holiday, or each year.

I believe that it is a good thing that businesses take leave management seriously - although in this case, I think that you require more information regarding why the changes have occured.

Perhaps ask the boss to clarify the reasons for change, and consult any award restrictions.

We have a union, but I trust them less then I trust my employer. They always claim to act for us which is quite funny as they never actually ask or listen to what we want?