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I need some advice/clarification please!

 

I get 25 days (plus bank holidays) paid annual leave each year. However more and more my employer seems to think it is completely fair to expect me to be at their beck and call via telephone to answer questions/discuss work when I'm on annual leave.

 

I challenged my boss about this recently when he called me (whilst on annual leave) to say I would need to be contactable and if necessary ready to visit clients. I had 3 days annual leave before Christmas (working on Christmas Eve) and the company has a mandatory holiday period of 3 days off for all employees to be taken directly after Boxing Day. I was called on 2 of my 3 days off before Christmas and then told on Christmas Eve that I would have to visit a client and be contactable by clients during the mandatory holiday period.

 

My boss tells me its not a 9-5 job, which I completely understand, but should the non 9-5 hours also be included when on annual leave. We have an employees handbook which refers working hours to our individual contract of employment even though no employee in the company has ever been issued a contract. He said that directors and senior staff have to answer the phone whilst on annual leave and then told me that I didn't have to answer the phone when on annual leave but that it would "not look good for career progression" if I didn't answer the phone. Should I be expected to take on a senior management responsibility like this to prove I'm up to it so that I can be considered for promotion even though promotion is not guaranteed?

 

These calls during my annual leave are beginning to ruin my time off so that I can't relax and its also annoying my family. Am I being too sensitive about this or is there any reason why, be it legal or otherwise, I should have cause for complaint?

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An employer has a statutory obligation to provide their employees with a written statement of particulars of employment, within 2 months of the commencement of employment.

It's amazing how many don't, though.

 

Well, what do you do? Personally, I think it's unfair that one has to essentially take on a role more senior than you're being paid to do, in order to 'prove' that you're worthy of it and might possibly someday get promotion. In my experience, you're usually just being treated like a mug.

 

If you're in a position where you're 'paid to do a job' it's one thing.

If you're 'paid to do certain hours', it's another.

 

They want you to behave like senior management? They need to make you senior management then.

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Is this a business mobile? May be stating the obvious, but switch it off when you're on leave!

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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I have seen problems like this. In my opinion, it's not right, because responsible employers view holiday as a chance to unwind. But it seems to be more and more common. I wish I knew the answer, but maybe someone on this forum does.

 

This sounds like moral blackmail, I hope you manage to find a solution.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Barracad - It is a business mobile and they insist I leave turned on. I have started to leave voicemail messages saying when I return from annual leave but it doesn't deter my boss and colleagues from calling.

 

Honeybee13 - Yes I agree responsible employers would class holiday as time to unwind. Personally I find it very difficult to unwind at all because I'm always concious of the phone and wonder when its going to ring next. The company are pretty much telling me what I'm allowed to do whilst on holiday as for example I shouldn't really stay in bed asleep all day when on holiday just in case they need to ask me something.

 

I know I can't control the weather but I'm now expected to walk 1.5 miles to work through 8 inches of snow and untreated icey pavements both up and down hill when others deem it too dangerous to drive in the snow (on treated roads!). I breifly expressed my concern about walking and was just told "you live nearer the office and its less dangerous than driving in these conditions". Whatever happened to the employer having a duty of care to their employee's? I guess I'm just unlucky!

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If you're able to tell us, are you the only person carrying out your particular role? Is that why they feel they need to have 24-hour access to you?

 

[Not saying they're right, of course.]

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Not meaning to state the obivious here.. but annual leave is paid holiday not paid work. therefore is highly unreasonable for an employer to be contacting you during your paid holiday leave asking you to respond to work related issues. In fact am pretty certain they would have to pay you extra hours for the time taken out of your holiday entitlement dealing with work related issues.

 

Ill be write back, will go look into it.

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (CAG),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

 

By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

 

If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phinishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

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Right from looking at the working times regulations act 1998, if the employer requires you to work they must give you notice in advance.

 

Dates on which leave is taken

15. - (1) A worker may take leave to which he is entitled under regulation 13(1) on such days as he may elect by giving notice to his employer in accordance with paragraph (3), subject to any requirement imposed on him by his employer under paragraph (2).

 

(2) A worker's employer may require the worker -

 

  • (a) to take leave to which the worker is entitled under regulation 13(1); or
     
    (b) not to take such leave,

on particular days, by giving notice to the worker in accordance with paragraph (3).

 

(3) A notice under paragraph (1) or (2) -

 

 

 

  • (a) may relate to all or part of the leave to which a worker is entitled in a leave year;
     
    (b) shall specify the days on which leave is or (as the case may be) is not to be taken and, where the leave on a particular day is to be in respect of only part of the day, its duration; and
     
    © shall be given to the employer or, as the case may be, the worker before the relevant date.

(4) The relevant date, for the purposes of paragraph (3), is the date -

 

 

 

  • (a) in the case of a notice under paragraph (1) or (2)(a), twice as many days in advance of the earliest day specified in the notice as the number of days or part-days to which the notice relates, and (meaning for 2days work theyd have to give you 4 days notice, and so on)
     
    (b) in the case of a notice under paragraph (2)(b), as many days in advance of the earliest day so specified as the number of days or part-days to which the notice relates. (Meaning for 2 days work they have to give you 2 days notice in advance, and so on)

(5) Any right or obligation under paragraphs (1) to (4) may be varied or excluded by a relevant agreement.

 

(6) This regulation does not apply to a worker to whom Schedule 2 applies (workers employed in agriculture) except where, in the case of a worker partly employed in agriculture, a relevant agreement so provides.

 

Payment in respect of periods of leave

16. - (1) A worker is entitled to be paid in respect of any period of annual leave to which he is entitled under regulation 13, at the rate of a week's pay in respect of each week of leave.

 

(2) Sections 221 to 224 of the 1996 Act shall apply for the purpose of determining the amount of a week's pay for the purposes of this regulation, subject to the modifications set out in paragraph (3).

 

(3) The provisions referred to in paragraph (2) shall apply -

 

 

 

  • (a) as if references to the employee were references to the worker;
     
    (b) as if references to the employee's contract of employment were references to the worker's contract;
     
    © as if the calculation date were the first day of the period of leave in question; and
     
    (d) as if the references to sections 227 and 228 did not apply.

(4) A right to payment under paragraph (1) does not affect any right of a worker to remuneration under his contract ("contractual remuneration").

 

(5) Any contractual remuneration paid to a worker in respect of a period of leave goes towards discharging any liability of the employer to make payments under this regulation in respect of that period; and, conversely, any payment of remuneration under this regulation in respect of a period goes towards discharging any liability of the employer to pay contractual remuneration in respect of that period.

 

Entitlements under other provisions

17. Where during any period a worker is entitled to a rest period, rest break or annual leave both under a provision of these Regulations and under a separate provision (including a provision of his contract), he may not exercise the two rights separately, but may, in taking a rest period, break or leave during that period, take advantage of whichever right is, in any particular respect, the more favourable.

 

 

 

 

 

So going by the bits highlighted in red if the employer requires you to work a day or part of day they are required to give you advanced notice. this would also mean that they would have to

 

A) pay you in liue of notice (as to reimbuse you for the time lost from your holiday leave.

 

Or,

 

B) Grant you time off equal to the amount lost during your holiday at a later date (i.e you had 5 days holiday but worked 2 of those 5 days meaning they they owe you 2 days holiday and you had infact only used 3 days holiday out of your annual entitlement.

 

Thats how i would deal with it, as to just ring you up out of the blue while your on holiday is completely unreasonable and they have failed to give you the notice in accordance with the working time regulations act 1998. they for they are in breah of the act.

 

Or thats my interpretation of it.

Edited by teaboy2
little bit of spelling correction

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (CAG),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

 

By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

 

If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phinishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

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Teaboy2 - Thanks for your reply, very informative and enlightening!

 

My employer has now told me that the time I end up working during my holiday can be taken as annual leave at a later date. Their opinion of the phone calls is that if speaking me for 5 minutes (no matter how many times) whilst on holiday they can save someone else in the office a couple of hours work then thats what they will do. Economics and efficency apparently. I still don't agree with it and think its unfair. I work in a small engineering department of my company (2 of us) and have to cover my bosses workload whilst he is on holiday (12 weeks a year!) even though he keeps calling the office to see how things are, but then he is senior management.

 

I can't see how they can give me the notice required by the regs if they still want call me whenever they want. Even if they could give me the notice required taking 5 minutes or 20 minutes holiday at a later date doesn't make up for spoiling my day when on holiday anyway. Its a no win situation.

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It's a confrontational approach, but I'd turn my phone off when I'm on leave.

Given their failure to provide you with a written statement of particulars, which is a simple, fundamental responsibility, they'd be very much on the back foot if they tried to take action against you.

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I'm afraid you're right, it is a no win situation.

 

If you go to your boss quoting rules and regulations, you know what the answer will be. He has already told you its beneficial to your career if you answer these calls, detrimental if you don't. So pointing him in the direction of the law will be pointless.

 

I'm in the same boat. Sales Manager for a group of hotels. I get calls morning, noon and night. Even when on annual leave, my voicemail directs callers to my mobile, I never get away from it...its the nature of the beast.

 

Two choices really, suck it up and get on with it, or look for a new job...harsh I know, but it is what it is.

 

All the best

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I'm afraid you're right, it is a no win situation.

 

If you go to your boss quoting rules and regulations, you know what the answer will be. He has already told you its beneficial to your career if you answer these calls, detrimental if you don't. So pointing him in the direction of the law will be pointless.

 

I'm in the same boat. Sales Manager for a group of hotels. I get calls morning, noon and night. Even when on annual leave, my voicemail directs callers to my mobile, I never get away from it...its the nature of the beast.

 

Two choices really, suck it up and get on with it, or look for a new job...harsh I know, but it is what it is.

 

All the best

 

I can't agree here, I understand that this may be hard and that clearly the employers are exploiting you both to expect you to be "oncall" for work during your Annual Leave, this is wrong and you need to break this culture to acheive some sort of work/life balance.

 

As quoted above the regulations for this are quite clear and you have the right to paid time off work. Are either of you in a union?

 

I do understand what you are saying that they may use this against you in the future if you don't respond to phonecalls but really you need to turn the work phone off while on leave, as with sick leave you can claim back annual leave if you are sick during it. The same applies, if your employer recalls you to work during that leave you need to be recording that.

 

As I said above you do need to break the culture. A meeting with your boss and HR if you have them should really be enough to resolve this.

George Loveless - “We raise the watchword, liberty. We will, we will, we will be free!"

 

My advice is only my opinion, I am not a legal expert.

 

IF YOU LIKE THE ADVICE I'M GIVING AND ARE HAPPY WITH IT, CLICK THE SCALES ON THE BOTTOM LEFT OF THIS POST AND TELL ME.

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Teaboy2 - Thanks for your reply, very informative and enlightening!

 

My employer has now told me that the time I end up working during my holiday can be taken as annual leave at a later date. Their opinion of the phone calls is that if speaking me for 5 minutes (no matter how many times) whilst on holiday they can save someone else in the office a couple of hours work then thats what they will do. Economics and efficency apparently. I still don't agree with it and think its unfair. I work in a small engineering department of my company (2 of us) and have to cover my bosses workload whilst he is on holiday (12 weeks a year!) even though he keeps calling the office to see how things are, but then he is senior management.

 

I can't see how they can give me the notice required by the regs if they still want call me whenever they want. Even if they could give me the notice required taking 5 minutes or 20 minutes holiday at a later date doesn't make up for spoiling my day when on holiday anyway. Its a no win situation.

 

 

it may be worth your while giving ACAS a call, as your employer is being unreasonable and unfair by giving work to when your on holiday, when they could give it to someone else whos actually at work. Thwe company's economic and efficency is of no concern to you and is their problem and as such they should not be passing work on to you whilst your on holiday just to save them a few quid. Am sure that ACAS will very well agree with me and beable to give you the exeact advice you need to get this sorted, you should mention about the written statement of employment not being supplied you aswell.

 

Heres Acas telephone number (note the calls are confidential) -

 

Monday–Friday, 08:00–20:00 – 08457 47 47 47

Monday–Friday, 08:00–20:00 – 08456 06 16 00 (Minicom users)

 

Saturday, 09:00–13:00 – 08457 47 47 47

 

Basically they have no business calling you whilst your on holiday regardless of what their opinion of the matter is.

 

I hope that upon specking to ACAS you are able to sort this matter out with your employer.

 

By the way if they make any attempt, upon your refusal to take on work whilst on holiday, to use it against you then that will be a even bigger if not one of the BIGGEST NO NO's that they could be stupid enough to do. And in the event they do try anything you comeback on here to this thread and let us boy's and girl's no and we will help you come down harder then a tonne of bricks on them. ;)

Edited by teaboy2

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (CAG),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

 

By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

 

If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phinishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

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I'm afraid the 'U' word around these parts is the kiss of death!

 

I just have to accept it and it is expected of me. Whilst away on my last holiday, I got 19 phonecalls from clients on the first day! I do explain to them that I am on hols, help them if I can and then they don't bother me...until the next one has a problem or query!

 

We just have to accept that there are certain jobs and certain employers that expect you to be on call 24/7 365 days of the year.

 

If it is a major problem for the OP, he will have to speak to the boss, show him the regs and hope for the best. I don't fancy his chances though. Through experience, the type of people we work for couldn't give a rats hairy a**e, its very much 'its your job, just do it'

 

I truly hope the OP manages to sort it out, clearly its troubling him. I gave up letting it get to me a long time ago.

 

Cheers

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I'm afraid the 'U' word around these parts is the kiss of death!

 

I just have to accept it and it is expected of me. Whilst away on my last holiday, I got 19 phonecalls from clients on the first day! I do explain to them that I am on hols, help them if I can and then they don't bother me...until the next one has a problem or query!

 

We just have to accept that there are certain jobs and certain employers that expect you to be on call 24/7 365 days of the year.

 

If it is a major problem for the OP, he will have to speak to the boss, show him the regs and hope for the best. I don't fancy his chances though. Through experience, the type of people we work for couldn't give a rats hairy a**e, its very much 'its your job, just do it'

 

I truly hope the OP manages to sort it out, clearly its troubling him. I gave up letting it get to me a long time ago.

 

Cheers

 

I dont mean to be offensive Alex,

 

But its exactly that kind of, "hes the boss attitude" that allows employers to get away with all kinds of things. They may not give a rats arse but i bet they dont know the law either, they just think they can do it because people let them do it to them.

 

I suspect you will have a good case against your employer too Alex so i would suggest you also call ACAS too. Because of those 19 phone calls you had how many hours did you spend dealing with them? 2..3...4...??? whatever amount of hours you spend dealing with them it is unreasonable and unfair for your employer to expect you to do so when on your holiday as that is your time off, no employer can place an employee on call during their annual leave. Not even doctors are on call when their on holiday, why not?.. well because it would be unreasonable to expect them to be on call while on holiday.

 

Employers actions have to be reasonable and fair at all times, they do not have a choice.

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (CAG),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

 

By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

 

If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phinishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

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I dont mean to be offensive Alex,

 

But its exactly that kind of, "hes the boss attitude" that allows employers to get away with all kinds of things. They may not give a rats arse but i bet they dont know the law either, they just think they can do it because people let them do it to them.

 

I suspect you will have a good case against your employer too Alex so i would suggest you also call ACAS too. Because of those 19 phone calls you had how many hours did you spend dealing with them? 2..3...4...??? whatever amount of hours you spend dealing with them it is unreasonable and unfair for your employer to expect you to do so when on your holiday as that is your time off, no employer can place an employee on call during their annual leave. Not even doctors are on call when their on holiday, why not?.. well because it would be unreasonable to expect them to be on call while on holiday.

 

Employers actions have to be reasonable and fair at all times, they do not have a choice.

 

I am not suprised the "u" word is ths kiss of death with an employer like that, thats why they exist.

 

The employer shouldn't be exploiting the staff in that way & you can join a union online and use them, if and when you need them. The hotel industry is actually the most under-represented group in the UK next to bar & restaurants.

 

As I said before and I agree fully with teaboy, you need to have a word with ACAS and break this culture.

George Loveless - “We raise the watchword, liberty. We will, we will, we will be free!"

 

My advice is only my opinion, I am not a legal expert.

 

IF YOU LIKE THE ADVICE I'M GIVING AND ARE HAPPY WITH IT, CLICK THE SCALES ON THE BOTTOM LEFT OF THIS POST AND TELL ME.

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Next time you take any leave, a way to nip this in the bud is to make it clearly known that you are actually going away on holiday and are going abroad for that holiday.

 

Say it every time, even if its for just a day - tell them you're away abroad for a long weekend or whatever.

 

That then stops the asking you to attend meetings with clients malarkey straightaway if you're supposedly out of the country.

 

The phone calls are a little bit trickier (well, they are if you're trying to sort this without a fracas that is). If they think you're out of the country work calls will hopefully cease or be less.

 

Customer call wise you need to be firm. When you go on leave make that clear on your work voicemail, that you are on leave, returning on xxxx date so please don't leave a message....if they require assistance in your absence then they should ring x, y or z in your absence. I find it works a treat if you leave a very long and very detailed voicemail on your phone when on holiday - they lose the will to live half way through the message and hang up instead of waiting till the end to pester you!

 

Try the "holidaying abroad" plan next time. I think it might solve your problem. They can't specify what you do or where you go when on holiday ...so become a jet setter. They can't say a word if they found out you weren't away as you said as its none of their business. If it got to that point you may be forced to make your point with a grievance but I'd try saying you're abroad first and see if it makes any difference.

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Speak to your boss and tell him you will chack for messages on your phone twice a day at a convienient time and repsond to any urgent issues.

 

They should accept this situation. It seems (to me) to be a better solution than taking any legal action.

 

Annual leave is your time not the company's.

 

What would they do if you were not able to answer the phone for whatever reason??? You could point out to your boss that any sensible employer would ensure that there was sufficient cover to allow the company to operate and service it's customer now matter who was on leave. You may want to put this forward in a tactful manner...

 

Apologies the slight rambling nature of this. ;)

 

Haf

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You could forget to charge the phone or accidentally leave it in a drawer and not hear it. Happens to me regularly.

 

I would suggest a combination of all of the suggestions above

I am not a lawyer, so all my advice is provided on the basis that you will check them with a trained legal professional with legal insurance.:(

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