My fianceé has been working in an admin role in a university for the last seven years, probably on 9 or 10 rolling "temporary" contracts during this time. She's after accepting another job in a different organisation and given her notice for next month.
HR are now saying she has to take the remainder of her accrued leave before the resignation date since it can't be paid after and she'll lose it. This sounds like absolute BS to me, holiday pay is a legal entitlement and the Working Time Act explicitly allows this. What I want to know is does anyone know if there are different rules for the public sector? One of these mass agreements like Croke Park or Haddington Road or something that might have removed this entitlement for someone working in a university?
What she'll probably end up doing is changing the resignation date to the last working day and adding the final holiday accruement to this to get the new resignation date but I'd like to know what the story is.
HR are either very sly or incompetent, there have been multiple issues in the past where they've tried to weasle their way out of accepting employee rights. For one making new young employees start on "student help" contracts even though they haven't been students for a number or years (their own public policies say this isn't allowed), justifying end dates in contracts by saying they were specific purpose contracts and tied to the duration of a project (when no such project existed and the work is standard ongoing admin work) or the refusal to give her a Contract of Indefinite Duration after the maximum number of, and years on, temporary contracts as set out in law, claiming the first few years of student help contracts didn't count towards a CID (nothing I can find supporting this in law). All dodgy positions if it ever came to a WRC case but she's just glad to be out of there and straight in to a permanent role.
What is your issue with this? Your partner is getting the paid annual leave she is legally entitled to before her employment ends. If they have already accepted her letter of resignation, there is no onus on the employer to allow a change to the end date.
While on holiday and will accrue holidays.
So they want her to use her outstanding holidays before the date her resignation takes effect.
The company need to agree when the leave will be taken 30 days beforehand so it depends on when your GF's notice is due to finish and if the company have enough time for that. Your GF's annual leave entitlement depends on her contract and if she is unable to take any or all of the accrued leave due, she should be paid for it up to her last day. The CS regulations includes public servants under the Minimum Notice & Terms of Employment Act and the Unfair Dismissals Act.
Afaik the grounds for a FTW contract are a specific task, date or event and the aggregate of two or more continuous contracts can't be more than 4 years. It doesn't apply to apprentices, defence forces or trainee garda and nurses. The Protection of Employees, Fixed Term Work Act 2003 has this:
Successive fixed term contracts. 9.—
(1) Subject to subsection (4), where on or after the passing of this Act a fixedterm employee completes or has completed his or her third year of continuous employment with his or her employer or associated employer, his or her fixed-term contract may be renewed by that employer on only one occasion and any such renewal shall be for a fixed term of no longer than one year.
(2) Subject to subsection (4), where after the passing of this Act a fixed-term employee is employed by his or her employer or associated employer on two or more continuous fixed-term contracts and the date of the first such contract is subsequent to the date on which this Act is passed, the aggregate duration of such contracts shall not exceed 4 years.
(3) Where any term of a fixed-term contract purports to contravene subsection (1) or (2) that term shall have no effect and the contract concerned shall be deemed to be a contract of indefinite duration.
(4) Subsections (1) to (3) shall not apply to the renewal of a contract of employment for a fixed term where there are objective grounds justifying such a renewal.
Is there a union rep your GF can chat to?
I'm wondering does the employer have any right to force her to take annual leave before the resignation date. She'd prefer to go straight from one job to the next, maybe take a few days in between but ultimately would be happier to take pay in lieu of most of the holidays. The new job is scheduled to start immediately after the resignation date.
Exactly, taking holidays before the resignation date complicates the whole thing. Today there are X days annual leave accrued which HR will give a statement of. By the resignation date there will be X + Y but HR won't admit that number in advance.
It's easier now that you've reminded me that you still accrue during leave; just pick an end date, figure out how much annual leave you'd have and stop coming to work that many days before, but she'd much prefer to pick an end date and get paid what's been earned up to that point, there's nothing to dispute.
30 days notice is this Friday the 15th, but it's a busy time and she'd need to train in her replacement so taking pretty much the rest of the time as leave wouldn't suit anybody. She likes her colleagues and manager so wouldn't want to leave them in the lurch more than she has to.
Good to know public servants are included in the Act, it's what I thought but wanted another opinion.
The FTW contracts were definitely on dodgy grounds. There was nothing specific or temporary about the actual work, the only thing limited was the pot of money they were paying her from. 9 contracts over 7 years would definitely qualify for a CID I think! But any time it was queried HR claimed it didn't apply to student occasional contracts (even though she hadn't been a student for at least 3 years). It was never worth kicking up a fuss over since there was always another small pot of money found at the end of the contract to tie to the next one since the position was fundamental to workings the department. Stressful times though every 6 months or year while you're waiting for confirmation!
There apparently is a rep but they're useless from what I'm told.
edit: clarified notice date
Why does it matter if it’s a busy time or whether she needs to train up her replacement? They want her out on annual leave before her finish date, that means they don’t care if it’s busy or if the person replacing her is trained up. Let her take her paid days off, have a rest and be fresh for her new job. Though the employer has to pay her for any unused annual leave days at the end of her employment, I’m not sure that the employee can dictate that arrangement instead of taking annual leave during the employment. And if they have given more than 30 days notice, assuming that 30 days to end day begins next Friday, they would appear to have given the correct advance notice.
This is kind of unusual, in most cases when people hand in notice, they’d like to get out the door as quickly as possible using up their AL for the last days of work.
Agree with mrslancaster, she needs to talk to her union.
I know of a person who was told something similar. Had a 2 min phonecall with their union who told them it was bs. They then informed their management in writing of their conversation with their union and that they wouldn't be extending their end date and expected their holiday pay settled in full. If there was any deviation from that the union would be on to them. This person also worked in the public service.
HR are pulling a fast one to try and eek more time out of your partner.
Unless I’m reading the op incorrectly (possible) it isn’t the employer who wants to extend the end date, it is the employee.
Op, like you I'm not sure if things are different in the public sector, but would doubt it. I do know in a previous company I was in, HR tried to pull the exact same thing with a colleague when he resigned. I remember the 2 of us fishing around and found the specific rules regarding holiday pay which he then took to HR and basically told them to go f themselves and they backed down and apologised.
A very quick google finds the following on Citizen's Information:
Your employer decides when annual leave may be taken, but this is subject to a number of conditions. Your employer must:
Take into account your family responsibilities, as well as the available opportunities for rest and recreation.
Discuss your annual leave with you (or your union) at least one month before you are to take the leave.
If you are leaving a job without taking all the annual leave you are entitled to, your employer must pay you for the days you have not taken.
...both taken from this page: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/employment_rights_and_conditions/leave_and_holidays/annual_leave_public_holidays.html#l442ae
If you stop work without taking all the annual leave you are entitled to, your employer must pay you for the days you have not taken. Some employers may offer leave instead (or ‘in lieu’) of notice. However, this sort of arrangement is not covered by legislation, so you would have to agree this with your employer.
..taken from this page: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/starting_work_and_changing_job/changing_job/giving_notice.html#lff0b9
Basically, assuming your fiancé only has to give a months notice, they can't demand that she take her holidays prior to leaving (as they must give at least 1 month's notice) and must pay any accrued and untaken leave entitlements as part of the final pay.
However, it is always best to leave a job on good terms (at least with the people that matter in that job). Does she have a manager (or other people in senior roles) who can take this to HR on her part, or would give her a reference etc as she may burn bridges with HR if they are as incompetent as they appear.
Again, reading what the op has posted, his partner has given notice already, and there is excess of 30 days until the finish date and she has already been informed that leave must be taken before the end date, so if she was told say 35 days before end date, at least 5 days have to be used as AL before she finishes.
If Friday is 30 days then AL would be from 15th Nov. What is her last date and how many days AL does she have left
Would it not be 30 days from when she was informed she needed to take AL up until the 15th November? For example, if she handed in notice on Monday 11th with leaving date 15/11, then if they told her she had to take AL before leaving, and had to give her 30 days notice of AL, she would have to take at least a few days before the 15th. It’s persnickety, but the op thinks the employer is doing something illegal so the dates matter.
I would have thought the opposite? They're accepting the proposed resignation date but saying to go on leave for a number of days between now and then. I guess in their eyes they're paying out less than they would if she was getting paid for actually working up to the 15th and getting a lump sum on top of that for leave.
Yes you're right and the dates do matter. Op said GF has given her notice 'for next month' and then '30 days is this Friday' which I think I read incorrectly. The date notice was given, number of weeks notice and unused AL are important.
Which is perfectly legal if she is still employed beyond the 30 days notice they are giving her to take annual leave.
She is on good terms with her actual colleagues and immediate management and would like to help them out by being around in her last few days. Once her manager informed HR they had agreed the employment would be terminated on the 15th and HR said she couldn't work solid between now and then and get paid her leave in her final wages, she would have to use her leave balance first or lose it.
Apologies if I wasn't clear. Employee and manager are agreed on the date, nobody wants to change the date.
Thanks, my gut said the rules were something like this.
Your employer decides when annual leave may be taken, but this is subject to a number of conditions.
I read that as the employer can specify when the employee is allowed to take leave, but can't dictate that they take it if they don't want to (which is essentially what is happening here), which is what you are saying.
Agreed nobody wants to burn bridges, though the person that would be giving the reference (unless they change procedure) is on her side and doesn't want her to leave at all. This is all probably an academic exercise on my part, I definitely get more riled up about the employer's shenanigans than she does!
Looks like she wants to be paid on the double.
Work til last day, get paid holidays and start working the following Monday in the new job.
Not how it works.
Employer can tell you (within reason) when to take leave . Employer is stating that leave needs to be taken before she leaves, otherwise she loses it.
Also, she is resigning. It would be different if she was being made redundant.
My knowledge of this is people can only get 12 months/52 weeks work/pay in one year for revenue... if your friend gets paid while not in the employment there may be questions as to how they worked this extra time....
i have really only flashed through this but i am assuming your friend wants to start the new joy while getting paid annual leave from old work....
Is that correct though? They need 30 days notice to agree to leave from what I remember (unless the employer agrees to waive the leave), but it doesn't mean that they can demand you take leave at any particular time as long as they give 30 days notice?
For arguments sake we'll say notice was given Monday 11th, termination date Friday November 15th and we'll say there are 15 days currently accrued, so 17ish by the termination date.
I don't think there's anything illegal being demanded around notice, just that they're trying to specify when to take leave in general.
Employers specify when AL must be taken all the time, an example would be days between Christmas and new year when a lot of factories close, some Solicitor firms make staff take days in August when the Courts are on holiday.
Your interpretation could be right, but is it worth the fight? If your partner is unhappy there and feels she is being mistreated, take the AL and get out of there as soon as possible, let them sort their own mess out with new staff at a busy time. Get a good reference and chill out before the new job starts, life is too short to be getting wound up by these sort of things.
Looks like she wants to be paid on the double
Yep exactly. It's happened to me in every job I've left and it's certainly not uncommon. If you had no pressing need to take three weeks holiday in the next month and had the option to get paid a lump sum why wouldn't you take it? She'd like to take some days but not all.
See that's the bit there's disagreement on, can an employer demand you take leave in a certian period? I know it's legal at certain times when the workplace is closed, Christmas for instance, but can you you tell one specific employee to take leave during the normal year? And I don't believe it's possible to lose the leave entitlement/pay outside of carrying it over to the next working year.
I don't see how this would be a problem, Revenue have no problem with people working multiple jobs at the same time. I'm questioning why can't the unused leave pay be added to her final wages, it's happened to me multiple times before and the only difference from Revenue's POV is the gross pay for that period is larger than usual.
Using those dates, if your GF gave notice on 11th Oct to finish on 15th Nov then there is insufficient time for 30 days notice and then to take 15 days AL.
30 days out would start on 10th Nov so she could only use up 4 days (10,11, 12 & 15th). She would have 11 days left plus extra accrued AL up to the 15th Nov. She would have to be paid for those unused days imo.
Probably not worth a massive fight, I'm probably putting more effort in here than will go into actually resolving the situation! She's massively relieved to be out of there and into somewhere she hopefully won't be messed around. Thanks for the input!
That's what I was thinking too, assuming they have the right to demand 4 days once 30 days notice is given.
I'm sure the people actually involved will come to a happy compromise, I just tend to get very principled when it comes to this kind of messing around!
I'm hoping the next battle isn't the pension. A coworker in a similar situation left a few months ago and said that they were told what they had paid into the pension was gone and they couldn't get back. I assume they misunderstood and what the HR person meant is that it couldn't be paid out as a lump sum immediately as they were on the scheme more than two years, they would have to wait to retirement to get it back which is fair. Based on the experience with HR I wouldn't doubt the HR person believing the university owns the pension now.
All i am saying that is what i was told some years ago when the company was changed the policy of carrying unused days... It may have been just that they didn't want the admin hassle but that's what we were told...
Ah the old Revenue/GDPR/Health and safety/Insurance/Covid excuse. Someone just isn't bothered!
If an employee leaves employment with unused annual leave then the employer is legally obliged to pay for the unused annual leave. Also an employer can dictate when you can take annual leave but must give the employee one months notice of the requirement to take leave. It's all there on citizens info ....
So an employer could turn around on January first and say in 30 days you must take two weeks leave and a month later take the remaining two weeks, assuming you can advance your balance? Basically force you to take your entire allocation before April? Doesn't sound right.
Quotes from citizens info up above say the employer can say when you MAY take leave, not SHALL (outside of shutdown periods).