Taking Time off from Work – Your Rights

- by Sarah Connelly

We all need time off work now and then. Whether that’s for personal reasons, emotional issues or health problems. We might just be looking to escape the constant monotony of heading to the office, day in and day out – even if it means taking a small payday loan to help. If you are thinking about taking some time off from work, you need to know your rights. It’s important to understand where you stand so that you don’t cross any lines. You also want to be aware of when your employer might be able to say no to your request. Or, when they can refuse to pay you for time away from the office. Let’s start by looking at the reasons you can have for taking time off from work.

Taking time off from work is OK as longa s you follow the guidelines.

Reasons for Taking Take Time Off from Work

Holidays

Fancy escaping the office for a long weekend? Most businesses give their workers 5.6 weeks off through the year, and that provides a lot of time for long weekends. Just be careful you don’t use too much of your holiday time too quickly. Otherwise, you could reach summer and have no time left for that luxury vacation. Statutory holiday may differ depending on your contract of employment. But generally speaking, you will receive pay during this period off.

Public Duties

You can also get time off to complete more work! General duties are a rare case where employers are obligated to give you time out of the office. This might include if you work as a counsellor, or if you hold a position on something like a school board. Employers are expected to provide a reasonable amount of time off work in these situations. They need to give you enough time to complete your duties while taking into consideration how your absence will affect the business.

Jury Service

Have you received a letter in the post, asking you to complete jury service? Your employer is under no legal obligation to give you time off from work for this. You may have to reschedule your jury service to a time that suits them. They are also under no obligation to pay you for time off during jury service. The good news is you can claim back any money you lost from the courts.

Study Leave

In your teen years, you might be granted time off work for studying. This is true for anyone working a full-time job up to the age of eighteen. During the time off work, pay should remain the same, and you won’t have to work extra time later to make up for it. You can also get time off for training if you’ve been working in a large company for more than twenty-six weeks.

Babies And Children

There are certain situations when you can get time off related to children. If you have a baby, women are entitled to maternity leave and men can claim paternity leave. This period of leave will be paid but might be lower than you typically receive each month. A variety of factors affects the amount paid, including the length of employment and the contract you signed up for.

Emergencies

You can also get time off for emergencies throughout the year. Issues such as mental breakdowns, a problem with your child at school or if someone dies. In these situations, the amount of time off will vary, and it will not be paid leave.

Doctors And Dentist Appointments

You might have escaped lessons in school due to doctor and dentist appointments. The same can’t be guaranteed when you’re working nine to five. An employer doesn’t have to give you time off for these dates unless they can be classed as an emergency.

Notable Exceptions for Taking Time off from Work

The above examples explained are based on the general situation for employees in the UK. Your employment contract may give you different entitlements for time off work. If you don’t have a job contract, you might still have altered rights. These may have been covered by a verbal agreement. You should ask your employer about this possibility if you are unsure.

Asking For Time Off from Work

In general, the notice period should be twice the amount of time that you want off. For instance, if you are booking a period of two weeks off for a holiday, you need at least one month’s notice. For one day, it would only be two days notice. For one week of vacation, it would be two weeks notice. However, this is a general rule, and many employers would rather know as soon as possible. You may want to notify them as soon as you have booked your holiday. Unless, you think there is a possibility that your plans might change.

Are you worried that your employer might refuse your leave request? They can only do this if they give the same period of notice, twice the amount of time off. An employer would need to alert you two weeks in advance that you couldn’t take a one week holiday. However, it’s important to realise that they can’t refuse the holiday outright. They can only ask you to reschedule it. This might be because your holiday is booked during a busy time for the business.

Issues With Taking Time Off from Work

Employers and employees constantly get involved with disputes about time off. In some situations, an employer might try and refuse giving time off, even if it’s unpaid. Or they may refuse to grant you pay for holidays. In this type of situation, you need to examine your employee contract carefully and make sure you know what your rights are. If you believe you have the legal right to time off, mention this to your employer. Send them an office letter of grievance; then they can not ignore you. If this has no effect, you can take legal action. However, you may want to think carefully before doing this. It will alter the relationship that you have with your employer.

As you can see then, there are multiple reasons you can take days off, without putting your job at risk. You can even take a day off for some ‘me time,’ as long as you give two days notice.

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About The Author
Sarah Connelly
Sarah is an enthusiastic writer, blogger and an eager agent of change. After completing her degree in Computer Science in one of London’s esteemed universities, Sarah’s early career in programming left her creatively frustrated. Looked for a way to combine her creative and analytical side, Sarah’s search led her to Digital Marketing and now she writes content and code for Cashfloat. Sarah enjoys spreading awareness about common financial issues and the importance of money management. With her STEM background, Sarah believes strongly in ethical business management and consumer protection. in her free time, Sarah enjoys reading, watching movies and eating out. After all, #YOLO!
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