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Could anyone help please.

 

someone very close to me is in hospital suffering from a brain tumour and it does not look very good for him.My question is that when i asked my work for time off to go and see him as he lives 3 hours away from me and i cannot get there each day the answer was pretty awkward. Noone in this world can guarantee at exactly what time someone is going to pass away and was basically told that if i went down and then he was ok and then i had to do the same thing the next week etc my employers would start to get annoyed with me. In my contract there are clauses for bereavement leave but not for the bit beforehand. Am completely torn what happens if i go to see him, he stays in there and then i ask for more time off to see him next time i get a phone call. i know what my heart wants to do (stuff work)but head is thinking of bills and trouble at work. Had a phone call last week to say i had better come down but he made it through, have just had another phone call to say better come down. Am in a bit of a mess really and dont know what to do.

Can my employers keep this on my record or hold it against me in any way.

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This is always very tough as even the most compassionate employers will ultimately take the view that in the interests of the business it is impossible to plan for unpredictable periods of temporary leave. As you say, your contract makes provision for compassionate leave for a funeral or period of bereavement, but these tend to be fixed and for a finite period for obvious reasons. Legislation only demands that reasonable time off is permitted to care for dependants, so it really does come down to the attitude, compassion and policies of your employer.

 

It will only become a negative mark on your record if the absences start to be taken without permission so if there is an amicable solution then that will always be preferable. You haven't said on what basis you are taking the time off. Is it paid leave on compassionate grounds, taken from your holiday at short notice, or unpaid leave?

 

The best solution is to be absolutely open and honest with your employer, explaining the unpredictable nature of your friend's condition and appreciating the effect that this may have on the business if you need time off at short notice. Offer to take the time unpaid (if not already doing so and if finances permit) so that any additional cost in providing cover for you is not borne by your employer and agree that you will keep him informed and be back at work as soon as is possible.

 

This must be a terrible dilemma. Any reasonable person will understand your wanting to be with your friend, but equally he would no doubt not wish for his illness to jeopardise your job. Harsh as it may seem, your boss has to consider the effect of your time away on his business and on other staff, but you could not be punished directly or indirectly as a consequence of taking time off with permission, however reluctantly it is granted. It would only be when he says that enough is enough that this may change.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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Have you thought of seeking leave without pay or using ur holiday entitlement to stay with ur friend ? Companies are understanding in such events, with the odd akward one thrown in, i'm sure if you explain things there will let you take unpaid leave for a period agreed with you and them....Whats ur companies sickness policy, wink wink you could go sick urself then you will be free to visit your friend at short notice and not loose pay either..... shhh i never said that did i hehehehehe

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Have you thought of seeking leave without pay or using ur holiday entitlement to stay with ur friend ? Companies are understanding in such events, with the odd akward one thrown in, i'm sure if you explain things there will let you take unpaid leave for a period agreed with you and them....Whats ur companies sickness policy, wink wink you could go sick urself then you will be free to visit your friend at short notice and not loose pay either..... shhh i never said that did i hehehehehe[/Quote]

 

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Hi thanks for your replies. I managed to get last week what they call special leave, you can claim 3 days per year which is paid. I took 4 days so 3 paid 1 unpaid. Now any time off is unpaid. Had a word with manager today she is saying that if i go down again, take time off then nothing happens it will be pretty impossible for me to get authorised time off again. Will say didnt really want to put this down in black and white but its not a friend its my dad. Saying it was someone very close to me is easier. Desperate to see him, wish he lived closer to me can get over sundays and mondays but the phone calls seem to come during the week. I would certainly never forgive myself if i wasnt there with him. It doesnt help as his wife (not my mum) seems to constantly be pressing the panic button. I have spoken directly to the doctors at the hospice and they say it will be a matter of time now. It would be impossible for me to go sick as my manager knows too much of what is going on.

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What an awful situation. I think all you can do is keep going down at the weekends and see him as much as you can, and take advice from the docs. But then again it is impossible to know when the panic is for real. I worked round the corner from the hospital my Dad was in and on the one occasion I went to the pub for someone's birthday I got back to find that there had been lots of phone calls for me - and I knew straight away what had happened. I am sure my Dad will have forgiven me (it was 25 years ago now) and my Mum was with him. But I am sure your Dad would not want you to lose your job, and if you are visiting him whenever you can then you are doing your best.

 

Hopefully after nine years your employer will be understanding - and will perhaps allow some 'unauthorised absence' as well as the authorised.

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Just to conclude, this must be really tearing you apart, and I am sure that everybody reading this thread will join me in hoping that things work out as you need them to in order to be there when the time comes.

 

Work will help you to get the rest of your life back to normal, and being happy there will make that process much easier. At the end of the day I am sure that your boss is just keeping things in check and would never take action against you under these circumstances.

 

All the best.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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Just to mention, you've had great advice on this thread so far but if thingd don't improve or get worse and it's all getting to be too much for you talk to your boss, you may be able to negotiate compassionate leave or even just a few days to have to yourself, also (if it comes to this) your boss will have more understanding if your doctor decides you're unfit for work due to stress or whatever. For now though keep yourself at work, you'll need something to take your mind off things for a while or it will drive you mad, if it gets too stressful get yourself off to the doctors, you can't have yourself sick with stress.

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Good advice Jen.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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