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No holiday pay...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by toddy2602, Mar 29, 2016.


Should I accept the new contract?

Poll closed Apr 5, 2016.
  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Yes, but don't complete the reports

  1. toddy2602

    toddy2602 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I returned from teaching abroad in the autumn and agreed to a post in a school I had previously taught at in the short-term. The contract lasted from January to Easter and it was a normal full-time contract and I had to work to the same standards as all my colleagues.

    I was offered another contract from the school to carry on in my post after Easter and to the summer. I was happy to accept this however the contract won't start until the new term begins this means I won't be paid for 10 days of the Easter break.

    I raised my concerns with the headteacher as during this time I'd like to catch-up with my marking and the school expects me to complete reports for year 9. The headteacher said that I shouldn't need to use the holidays to catch-up with my marking as it should all be up-to-date and I should use the few days I am being paid to complete the reports.

    This seems very unfair and I don't feel like I can accept the new contract as I don't want to work for a school that does not value its employees. On the other hand I don't want to be unemployed or relying on day-to-day cover.

    I would like to know what people's opinions are on this matter and what options might be available to me.

  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Unless you have an alternative job to go to, I'd take the job, but keep looking for somewhere else.
    JL48 likes this.
  3. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    I agree. Take the job, but apply elsewhere. Your application will be stronger if you are working, especially if it is at a school where you have worked before. (That's a recommendation in itself.)

    However, I would move on, regardless of what they offer you from now on. Use the Easter break to actively apply for other jobs.
    badger_girl likes this.
  4. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I would say bite the bullet, try to do it with good grace and view it as a business decision by the HT and not personal against you.
    I wouldn't in future lay myself open to any possible criticism by letting it out that all marking wasn't complete, up to date and perfect either !
    Do you like the school? Are you treated well in other respects? Do you have good relationships with colleagues etc.? If so I would sit tight and impress the socks off them for the remainder of your contract. (Does this contract mean you won't be paid for the summer - you might be better to try and negotiate something re that if not)
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Unemployment is not good for the wallet, nor as a basis for applying for other posts. It is always best to be in employment already when you put in an application.

    For advice on applications come to the Jobseekers forum (scroll down the forums list).

    There are over a hundred advice articles on various aspects of applications, interviews, accepting a job offer, starting a new job, etc etc.

    Best wishes

  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    For your questions/options, I think you may find the offer of a contract is withdrawn should you refuse to complete reports. You say you are being paid a few days in the holiday, and the head expects the reports to be completed then.

    Seems a very fair situation, a great many schools wouldn't be paying you any extra days and would still want the reports done.
  7. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I'm afraid it might be something teachers on short fixed term contracts will see more frequently in the future as schools (and particularly academies) look for ways to save cash.

    Many support staff are already paid "term time only",
    wanet and grumpydogwoman like this.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    If you can't secure a permanent contract under STPCD then I think @les25paul has described the future. A series of short-term contracts with various provisos and exclusions which will require the forensic skills of an employment lawyer and the negotiating talent of a camel-trader to understand and accommodate to your own situation.
    wanet likes this.
  9. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Whether it is right or wrong, the term don't cut off your nose to spite your face comes to mind. I am not sure what the 'norm' is in your situation. My guess is though that most supply staff will have been in your position. I think it is a little unfair, particularly as you are going back, but that is the nature of temping in any industry really, particularly on long holidays.

    Can you clarify how many days in the holidays you are being paid for? In fairness that ought to be more than enough to complete these reports. If you value a reference from this school then you will have to play the game and do them. Personally I do not think they are being too harsh either, expecting you to do the reports if they are paying you a day or two to do them on top of your teaching.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Teachers are now labour-units. No more than that.

    But you did shoot yourself in the foot by admitting you hadn't done the marking! ;)
    Not that I think marking is an important part of the job or that the kids would suffer if you didn't.
    But it's a market.

    This is the era where academies have marketing departments and have outsourced recruitment to any old body who has a laptop and a 'phone and claims they know Jack about schools.

    Play up and play the game, eh. :rolleyes:
  11. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    When does the new contract finish? (End of term, or end of August?) That's potentially a far bigger deal.

    If you've already accepted the post, even if only verbally, there's not a lot you can do. Of course, if they're not providing you with any continuity of service, you shouldn't feel under any obligation to wait and see if they'd like you to stay next year.
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Whatever we think of marking, I assume that your colleagues would be expected to mark reguarly, and not use the holiday to catch up, so it is reasonable for you to be expected to be close to up to date. If marking is of any use, it does need to follow the work reasonably closely after completion.

    I am not an expert on this (perhaps those who are might comment), but it strikes me that there is a chance that you are not getting your statutory holiday allowance. Including bank holidays, that amounts to 28 days per year.. Therefore (my calculations) in a 3 month contract, you should get at least 7 days, which is more than the standard half term. Not a big difference, but it might be worth investigating. If you are expected to use the few days you are being paid to complete reports, then they can't be holiday, so won't be included. That being said, I never expected to write reports during the holiday, and the only marking I did was work from near the end of term, so that I could start the next term with no backlog.
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    If OP started on 4 January and finished on 24 March, s/he would be entitled to 6.1 days leave. 5 of those half term, only 1.1 day left to pay.

    Best wishes


    P.S. HERE
  14. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Yes, I didn't think it would amount to much, but at least it would give one more day. The current term is likely to be around 3 months, making 7 days, with 5 for half-term and one for the other bank holiday.

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