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Am I allowed time off to move house?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Thomiam, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. Thomiam

    Thomiam New commenter

    Hi Everyone

    I was meant to go to a meeting at my solicitors last week to sign contracts ready to move house but was told I could not leave school until 4PM so I missed the appointment. As I wasn't there decisions were made without me and a moving date was set for two weeks time. I put in a request to have my lessons covered on this day but have been told I can't take time off as there is already too much cover for that day (in 2 weeks time?!)

    I thought I was entitled to take one day paid leave to move house but SLT appear to think differently. Contracts have now been signed and the date cannot be moved. I am in a massive chain and everyone else is agreed and ready to go on that day. What are my rights?

    Thank in advance :)
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I'm not sure how come you were committed to something simply by not being there! Did someone sign on your behalf?

    It always used to be the case that a day off to move was accepted - one per employment and to move closer to the school. But whether it was a right or accepted practice...check with your union.

    At a pinch can you ask for the day off unpaid? Or arrange things so you move out the day before (after work) and move in on the day (after work)?
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide


    There's no automatic right to that. Look at your school's policy for time off. It most likely says this might be allowed at the head's discretion.

    I can see you're now in a difficult position, but have to wonder why you didn't rearrange the meeting - it's your solicitor, they should rearrange for your convenience! Or at least take part in it by phone if you couldn't leave school? Or if you didn't want to rearrange the meeting you could have told your solicitor that they shouldn't confirm the date to others until they had confirmed it with you?

    There's not much else you can do other than go back to head and and ask again. As often posted on here, go to the head with solutions, how your lessons can be covered without the school buying in supply. Offer to take the day unpaid.

    Are you buying and selling alone or jointly with a partner? Can they get time off?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. Thomiam

    Thomiam New commenter

    My husband went to the meeting and made the decisions. I then went the following evening and signed. All other people in the chain had already signed contracts, I was the last one and as the chain has been in place since November I did not want to be the one to hold it up any longer. My husband has the day off (paid) to move but I can't expect him to do it by himself. This move is a big deal for us, I want to be part of it. Personally I think they are being unfair not agreeing to let me have the day off but if it is not my entitlement I guess I'll have to find another solution. :(
  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I fear you may...Can you point at other colleagues (in your current school) who have been allowed a day off to move? Your union may know...
  6. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Maybe you could ask for the following day?
  7. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    You should have a document outlining the policy for staff absence (check your staff handbook) - it will almost certainly cover moving days.
  8. Thomiam

    Thomiam New commenter

    It doesn't quite work like that. Everyone in the chain has to move on the same day. The person buying our house will be moving in on that day so we have to move out! Everyone in the chain has agreed and signed for that day. Contracts have been exchanged so it is now legally binding.

    I'm leaving my school at the end of term and they have been less than supportive of my decision to go so I feel they are deliberately being difficult about my request.

    I have family local to me but they all work so I can't ask them to help. I guess I will have to pack up as much as possible the day before and then leave it up to my husband to get our children to school, pack up the van, unload everything at the new house and collect our children from school all by himself....it's not too much to ask is it?! *bangs head against wall in frustration*
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    No, I meant that your husband could do the hard stuff on moving day and then you could have the next day to do all the major unpacking.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Of course I wouldn't suggest that you tell a lie...;), but if one of your children happened to be ill that day, and your husband was fully occupied with the move, you'd have to take the day off....
    Thomiam likes this.
  11. Thomiam

    Thomiam New commenter

    I may have a migraine coming on....
  12. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Not advice to be taken seriously though @FrankWolley Gross misconduct would almost certainly follow, given that the date for the move has already been revealed and the OP does not have a good relationship with the management of the school.
    wanet likes this.
  13. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Please don't have a 'migraine' @Thomiam .

    Do check your Staff Handbook and if necessary offer to take the day unpaid.
    wanet and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  14. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Very difficult to prove though...Children are always catching things in my experience, and - as the school knows - her husband can't take care of them that day.
  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Please don't resort to lies. It may well be cause for 'misconduct' and cost you a job or at the very least a poor reference.
    If it were me and I wasn't using a moving company to pack I'd be starting a week ahead to start packing up and so what little needs doing on the day could well be done by someone else, your husband.
    Just pack a kettle, some cups and tea/coffee and food to eat in your own car, so you can start to settle in as soon as you arrive. then use the next day, as suggested, to unpack and start settling in proper. Ensure you have everything prepared for cover when you approach your Head, so you're providing a solution not causing a problem.
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Great minds think alike @marlin.;)
  17. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    When I last moved house it was at the end of my first week at my new school (we were supposed to move in August but you know how things happen). I asked for the day but was told that I really needed to be in. I understood why.

    Is it a Friday (I ask because it usually is). If school have said no, personally I would not have the day off (I wouldn't ask for it unpaid, moving is expensive). Are there any friends of your children who could drop them off at school, pick them up, give them some tea? Does your husband have a friend who could help him?

    Obviously your school will have to understand that you will need to leave as soon as you can on that day.... And if school finishes at 3 as far as I know that means about 3.10, unless there is a meeting or something booked in.
  18. Thomiam

    Thomiam New commenter

    I started packing weeks ago as I like to be organized. My concern is that my husband will be left alone to deal with the children, move all the furniture, load the van, unpack the can at the new house and try to move items like wardrobes on his own.

    Just to be clear...I would not call in 'fake' sick, I am not that unprofessional!
  19. Thomiam

    Thomiam New commenter

    I get to school at 5:45am, I finish at 3 then have to do compulsory enrichment until 4. It then takes me two hours to drive home! (This is the reason I am leaving the school as I get no time at home with my own children.)
    I will just have to come in on that day but I will sulk and be grumpy all day! :(
  20. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Very wise!

    Apart from anything else, if you were to be found out (and the fact that you call in sick on the day you have been refused leave might be a hint ;) ), you could be subjected to disciplinary procedures which could make it harder for you to get another post. :(

    Best wishes


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