fair or am I just a whinging cnut?

A mate of mine (i.e. me) recently had the unexpected treat of needing to take some time off work to look after the other half after she'd been into hospital for an operation. (Fairly prompt, as she's a cancer carrying asylum seeker, daily mail readers take note)

I work for a faceless multinational blah blah, and I approached my boss/"mentor" (just to put you in the mood) about some unpaid compassionate leave (5 days) in relation to the situation. The answer was no, and that in future I'd have to be more careful how I spent my holiday time. (Which it would seem would include time off for the unexpected)

I emailed HR, in particular our departments contact, and asked about buying days off (perfectly legit I hasten to add) and was told I could only do this at the start of the year. However, an email conversation developed, and I was asked why I wanted to buy time off. I explained, and was told I just had to see the boss I was working for currently, explain the situation, and he'd either bin it or give it the thumbs up.

My boss said ok no problems, and I think excellent, problem solved! Get an email the next day from one of the uber-bosses, get a rollocking very that medium, get one on the phone, and then get the interview without coffee.

Apparently HR isn’t allowed to make such decisions!!
Empire said:
No you are not just a whinging cnut YOU ARE A FACKING CIVVY WHINGING CNUT!
This may be true, but the employer is in the wrong here.

An employee has a statutory right to take reasonable unpaid time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependent. This leave is intended to cover genuine emergencies and there is no set limit as to the number of times a employee can be absent from work under this right.

Statutory leave may be granted to a employee for the purpose of dealing with a situation involving a dependent such as for example:

* A child or dependent who is sick, injured or assaulted
* An adult for whom a employee cares where no other arrangements can reasonably be made for someone else to look after the person
* A serious incident involving a child at school
* A serious illness involving a dependent

This is contained in the Employment Relations Act 1999. If your HR Department doesn't know about it, they are either stunningly bad at their job, or run by ex-AGC types. Who ultimately authorises the time off may be an internal matter, but I can't see how the company can say no in the circumstances.


Book Reviewer
Had a problem like this myself a couple off years back.
Wife taken into hospital and i have 5 kids no one to look after them, go to see boss and he says no chance get one of your neighbours to get your kids.
I tell him thats not possible and i have to go now, he says walk out the door you dont come back and whats the problem she only has a cold.
I lost it a bit here and launched myself over his desk and chinned him. I dont know who was more suprised him or me, he is 6ft5 i'm 5ft8.
I walk out and think shit what have i done.
Anyway i get home and there is a message on my phone from the md saying take as long as i need.
All my fellow controllers walked out behind me in support.
My boss got fired 4 weeks later for picking on a telophonist


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
I would just like to point out that UK, in general, is at a high level of employment. Therefore employers are finding it more difficult to find hired help. Generalisation I submit, but there are other jobs out there. Don't be static.

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