Unfair Holiday Leave

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about holiday pay:

Our work policy has always been 20 days for workers and 25 for managers pro rata; recently three of my colleagues have reduced their working hours to a 4 day week but have kept their 20 days this means now they get 5 weeks leave. I am expected to pick up the slack on the days they are not there but still only get 20 days which is 4 weeks; in effect I am doing more work for fewer holidays. I don’t believe this is fair I have approached my manager who says this is the agreement she made with them when they reduced their hours. Because of the nature of my job and because I need the income, I cannot reduce to a 4 day week and feel I am being treated unfairly.

Signed, Their Less Is My More and Less

Dear Their Less Is My More and Less:

You’ve made your complaint known. You resent the fact you have fewer holidays than those coworkers who now have a four- day work week, and consequently you have a heavier load because you must take up the slack. So you can you swallow this and allow bitterness to fester? Or can you face this readjusted work schedule and do what you reasonably can in a professional good spirited way?

These choices are before you. Are there any others? Possibly. Consider these overlapping possibilities:

1. You can cover the slack and inform your manager what you can’t do. In short, you will be forced to pile up what is beyond your capability to cover. A week or more of that will get attention.

2. You can submit a written complaint about the “unfair treatment” in holiday time. However, I doubt that this will change if you aren’t willing to shift to a four-day week. Are those on a four-day schedule not working longer hours each day?

3. You can take this written complaint to your manager and asked if this is a matter that you should discuss with Human Resources or someone up the ladder.

4. You can meet with you manager and/or coworkers to find constructive ways to adjust the load in light of the rescheduled time. During the next few days, guard against gossip. Venting your frustration will portray you as an unhappy camper, not the credible reasonable employee you want to be seen as.

Think creatively. Act as a problem-solver or at least as part of the solution. That is the embedded meaning of my signature sentence: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. I will be interested in how you work through this. Your current job and future career could be affected by that. You will want all involved to look good by how this is resolved; your coworkers, your manager and you.

William Gorden