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Work Issues Re Leave

February 5th, 2017 at 03:32 am

Warning: long post about my job below!

On Friday there was a misunderstanding at work which needs to be rectified tomorrow. The only reason why it wasn't rectified Friday was because it happened on closing time, and I needed a bit of processing time to work out the best way to deal with this.

I'm jotting this down here because I would like to have the information documented plus this is a financial site, and it's definitely of a financial nature. There are two matters that I am writing about:

Matter 1: Unpaid Overtime & Going Home Early.

I work at a small accounting firm (boss R, senior coworker C who is second in charge, myself next in hierarchy and junior coworker J), so it is salary income at a professional services firm, not wage income where you clock on and clock off and get paid an hourly rate. The hours are 9-5 with some overtime required to be worked if needed and I've always been ok with that.

I don't really do much overtime after work, maybe between 5 and 15 minutes a day, but we work a 7 hour day with 1 hour for lunch however I rarely take the full hour, only really if I go out on the lunchbreak. I am totally ok with this as I'm not really a lunchy type of person. I like to eat and read a bit from 12-12.30 then spend 15 minutes making a coffee and looking at my phone, and am back working at 12.45. So there is 15 minutes per day unpaid overtime before working back after work. C works through her lunch but she plays sports so goes home early 1 day a week for that and also goes to appointments and things in the daytime. R is like me, eats and reads and goes back to work. J always leaves the office and generally takes the whole lunchbreak but not always.

With my work sometimes R will go home early on a Friday and usually C will say ok is everyone ready to go at about 4.30, every now and then at 4 but not often - usually on a public holiday weekend.

A couple of weeks ago I asked R for half of a Friday off in the next few weeks by putting in a formal leave application for the 4 hours. He asked me what it was about and I told him but also said that if we were busy (it is our busy time of year) I don't mind leaving a bit later - I could work up to 2pm. I thought I was being nice. He said ok, in that case don't worry about the leave application, we'll play it by ear on the day, if needed work up to 2pm. Then he asked if I was ok to work last Friday which was a public holiday weekend (Thursday was the public holiday and he didn't want to close the office on Friday) and I said fine, no problem. Thought there was nothing else to note really? Friday I was working a normal day, my usual hours and that was it.

So on Friday R went home early and at 4.30 C asked if we were ready to go and we said yes thank you. I generally talk with C about when we leave early and it's by mutual agreement that it will not be before 4.30 on a normal Friday or 4 on a public holiday weekend. So I was just chatting and told her how I let J and I go home at 4 last Friday. She then yelled out "just how many liberties do you want to take V?!"

I had no idea what she was talking about so I asked her what she was talking about (no tone however, as I genuinely didn't know and was trying to work it out) and she said "so you went home early Australia Day weekend and now you want to go home half a day or so on the other Friday?" and I told her I put a leave application in for that, I was using my annual leave. It's just R said don't worry about it because I offered to work a bit more.

She then said not to worry about it because we (R & I) have something worked out between us. I then said to her that I'm happy to use my annual leave, that's why I put the application in. I would expect no less for a half day, it's not like going home an hour early. She then said to sort it out with R.

I think it's best to insist that he accept the leave application now. Even if I finished at 2 I doubt I would have 3 hours unpaid overtime to use up so it's the right thing to do and I'm more than happy to. Plus I do not want anyone to think that I am taking advantage of my boss by getting paid for time I am not working and may not have worked. I don't want anyone to think I am ripping anybody off.

With leaving at 4 last week, I know that from Monday to Wednesday I worked a shorter lunchbreak so there is 45 minutes unpaid overtime. I think from now on I am going to keep a spreadsheet with all of my unpaid overtime just so that I know if we get to go home early on a Friday I have actually earned that money, no questions asked. (And also in the event that the unpaid overtime starts to build up I will use up more of my lunchbreak so that I am not working too much time which is unpaid.)

Matter 2: My Long Service Leave

Not sure if you have long service leave where you are but here in Australia generally after more than 10 years of service in a job (or some industries you can have a portable long service leave which is contributed to by whichever employer you are working for, does not have to be 10 years in one job) an employee is entitled to around 1 week leave per year which can be either taken as leave or withdrawn as a cash payment.

Here employment standards change with each industry and they change all the time so you pretty much always need to deal with the government institution to find out what is currently correct.

A while ago C was talking to R about long service leave and he told her that we are not entitled to it. (I always kept this piece of information in the back of my mind to refer back to). I would actually like to know what my entitlements for long service leave are and would like to be able to see on my payslip the long service leave accrued as well the annual leave (currently we only see annual leave). And as this is currently worth 12 weeks pay it's quite a substantial snowflake!

I hope to deal with this in the next week or two, in the near future anyhow. Must make lunches and go to bed.

10 Responses to “Work Issues Re Leave”

  1. scottish girl Says:

    I hope you get it sorted.

  2. alice4now Says:

    From my point of view, f C has a problem with it, she should take it up with R, since R is the main boss. You completed a leave request, it isn't like you were trying to pull something over on the office. Maybe C was just having a bitter moment?

  3. fern Says:

    It seems like an awful lot of work and effort to keep track of when you want to leave early or work longer, and juggle all that with your coworkers' needs/preferences. Perhaps R. is of the mind that in the end, it doesn't matter too much if you end up taking a bit more or less time away as long as all the work gets done. I

    I wouldn't let C's outburst affect whatever arrangements you originally had with R., who is your boss, after all. If you're a valued employee, I think they would just figure it's all going to be a wash in the end.

  4. Kaycee Fisher Says:


    OMG! That sounds a lot like my office. I too work for a small accounting firm but here in the states.


    Technically, I am the "low man" on the totem pole. But my boss is generous with time off during the NON tax season portion of the year.


    My two co-workers, who have been there 17 and 12 years respectively, seem to get a little bit bent anytime/every time I leave early and/or use my vacation time. @@

    When I first started there, of course I had no vacation time, but, I needed/wanted some time off. So I planned it out accordingly. It was UNPAID time off (2 days)after Memorial Day (which happened to be a 5 week pay month which of course helped) and then again in October (again UNPAID for 3 days in a 5 week pay period) you'd have thought I was getting away with something. @@

    And I have noticed that if/when I take a sick day (it has been ONE day in 2015 and ONE day in 2016 due to a very bad migraine each time) that they immediately need a day off too. @@

    I like to call it "tit for tat"

    Who does that???

  5. rob62521 Says:

    Yowza! What a way to end the week. Sure hope you get it sorted out and no hard feelings.

  6. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Long service leave sounds wonderful! I have never heard of it before- but yay for Australia for doing that for its working class!

    I agree with the others that you shouldnt react to an outburst. Likely, C is having issues other than what caused her reaction and she should take it up with the boss. If you are getting your work done, as an exempt (salary) employee, you shouldnt have to watch the clock- nor should your coworkers.

  7. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Thanks so much everyone for your responses, it's much appreciated Smile.

    Alice4now and Thrifty Ray it turns out you were on the right track - I found out today C is having a hard time with personal issues, luckily it's temporary, but in light of that, I didn't act any further. Sounds like she's dealing with enough right now and doesn't need any more problems.

    Fern you made a good point that my boss probably does find it all to be a wash really. I did start privately logging my time starting today because of time consuming things to do with the cat (like needing to take a big chunk of the Friday for example) because I want to ensure everything's pretty even.

    Kaycee it's so nice to hear of someone going through the same things I do! Generally I'm pretty lucky that everyone can fit in their leave but occasionally there's a bit of resentment that flares up like last week. Today it was pretty much all ok though.

    SG & Rob- thank you

    Thrifty Ray- long service leave (LSL) is something the government came up with in recognition that after many years an employee needs a longer break than 4 weeks per year. It's a good idea. Employers have to record a provision for LSL in their financials just like annual leave. The problem is often the employees "getting" the LSL. There are so many awards that some industries don't need to provide it so you need to contact the government to ensure that you are eligible. Then you need to get it from the employer which is difficult. For example my payslip doesn't show what LSL I have accumulated, doesn't mention LSL, so if I didn't know what it was and in turn didn't request it I might not get it and be none the wiser. Often employers cannot spare an employee for an extended period of time so there is the option to cash out. My husband had portable LSL so when he was off work when he was self employed he cashed it out. I wouldn't mind cashing out a portion, which I would add to the EF. I'd probably leave a portion also because I'm sure sooner or later a long trip would beckon. One of my friends (who is very frugal but has done very well for herself) worked for the government for a long period of time - the employment section of the government (!) and had to fight for four months to get the work to list the LSL she was owed! Three months leave or pay is certainly nothing to sniff at so I do want to sort out what my entitlements are.

  8. bluesfemme Says:

    LSL is great 👍
    Standard entitlement is 13 weeks after 15 yrs, but able to access 8 wks pro rata after 10 years. It does differ state, fed, awards and legislated entitlements. In Vic, this is the best to check (remove spaces).
    www. business. vic. gov. au/ hiring-and-managing-staff/ long-service-leave-victoria/ calculate-long-service-leave
    Here in WA it is allowable to cash in a portion, as long as both parties agree, but it seems under the Act in Vic it is an offence to do so (so only can, if it is set out in your award etc.).

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'm sorry you're having frustrations at work.

  10. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Thank you so much for your very informative post Bluesfemme, much appreciated!

    Thanks FrugalTexan, all is better nowSmile.

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