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Unpaid leave request for a pilgrimage turned down by head.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Redrosie, Mar 31, 2012.



  1. Just wondered
    others thought on this.


    A friend of mine at school requested 2 days off (unpaid) before
    the next spring half term (2013) so she could go on a pilgrimage with others
    from her church. She is a Christian and her vicar has been encouraging her to
    attend.


    She has worked at the school for a long time (10 year or more) and
    as far as I know has never asked for leave for any other reason.


    The head has said no to the request as she has turned others down
    in the past who have requested extra time off either side of a school holiday
    but this seems rather harsh as it is for a religious reason. I am not religious
    at all but can see how important this trip would be to my friend and how very
    upset she is about being turned down on the request considering the trip is 11
    months away!


    I cannot find any policy on our LEA website to see if a situation
    like this is covered.


    Any thoughts?

     


  2. Just wondered
    others thought on this.


    A friend of mine at school requested 2 days off (unpaid) before
    the next spring half term (2013) so she could go on a pilgrimage with others
    from her church. She is a Christian and her vicar has been encouraging her to
    attend.


    She has worked at the school for a long time (10 year or more) and
    as far as I know has never asked for leave for any other reason.


    The head has said no to the request as she has turned others down
    in the past who have requested extra time off either side of a school holiday
    but this seems rather harsh as it is for a religious reason. I am not religious
    at all but can see how important this trip would be to my friend and how very
    upset she is about being turned down on the request considering the trip is 11
    months away!


    I cannot find any policy on our LEA website to see if a situation
    like this is covered.


    Any thoughts?

     
  3. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    It's entirely up to the head.
     
  4. I agree and why should a religious reason make any difference?
     
  5. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    My suggestion is that your friend go on a pilgrimage of their own any time in the 13 weeks they have as holiday leave.
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    So if your friend chooses to go for a walk to a religious site as a pilgrimage she should be allowed. However if I choose to go walking in the countryside then it is fine for me not to be allowed?

    Hmmm doesn't seem fair does it?

    She could easily join the pilgrimage 2 days late.
     
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Indeed. Positing the fact that it's a religious pilgrimage would make it no more reason for me to grant it than if someone asked if they could go to Magaluf with their pals. The answer would be the same - you can go in your holidays.
     
  8. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    In addition the head is being consistent in applying her policies.
    Look at it this way, if god had wanted her to go on the pilgrimage, the head would have agreed.
    I'll get my coat...
     
  9. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Still, as any physicist will confirm, since any sub atomic particle can be anywhere in the universe in a moment, she might get there yet!
     
  10. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    May I suggest an alternative view?
    I agree its entirely up to the Head but I do think its a little harsh. Two days attached to a school day isn't going to mean a lot of quality teaching time is lost and if its unpaid then some of the Supply cover could be paid for out of this. But this pilgrimage could be very important to the teacher concerned, being allowed to attend it could boost her moral and the school rewarded by increased loyalty from her. "You scratch my back I'll scratch yours etc".
    But there must be conditions; firstly its a one off, you wouldn't get the request granted a second time. Also its only fair if other members of staff are allowed the same privilege to attend something special to them. The religious aspect does not give it special status, it anything like wanting to participate in a sporting event, family wedding etc, (going on the p@@@ with your mates in Spain wouldn't count though).
    Changing the subject slightly, I once got time off (with pay) to go on a TA exercise (military TA not school TA). Whats the situation for teachers wanting time off for similar purposes? I thinking about those who are Special Constables, retained Firefighters, Emergency First Responders etc.
     
  11. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

  12. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    I work in a large city and sometimes we can't get outside agencies to observe children with Behaviour concerns during certain months as some of the adults we need are on unpaid leave (during term time) for Haaj.
    Does you LA not have a policy on this or are you in an Academy?
     

  13. Entirely up to the head, yes indeed. Using the old religious angle is a very cheap shot....what would the big man say...??
     
  14. Diddysan

    Diddysan New commenter

    What if the friend were Jewish and needed off work for Yom Kippur, or a muslim who wanted to fulfill religious obligations during Ramadan? I worry that Christians who take their religion seriously are given short shrift by those in charge, but we bend over backwards to accommodate Muslims Jews Hindus Scientologists Druids and lord knows whatever else!!
     
  15. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    Using the 'religious angle' is not a cheap shot - it's just telling the truth about why they're applying for leave.
     
  16. Ramadan is compulsory for observing Muslims though, isn't it, and it is on a set date which is out of control of the Muslim. A pilgrimage is not compulsory for Christians and can be taken at any time, including school holidays. So to ask to take time off for something which is not religiously required so that it can be done in term time, to me, is no different than asking for additional holiday.
     
  17. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    That would be my view. Wanting to go on a pilgrimage with friends who are able to go when they choose is not an option open to teachers, who are only required to be at their workplace 195 days each year.
     
  18. they come 'ere, stealin' our jobs with their funny religions...

    Absolute bloody plonker.
     
  19. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Hang on, there are two holidays a year reserved exclusively for Christian festivals. They are called the Easter and Christmas vacations.
    You might find that every school in the Western hemisphere has them.
    Also, when I worked in the Middle East, in a muslim run government organisation, Christians were given time off - paid - for their religious holidays. For all other religions it was a normal day at work.
     
  20. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I might change my mind on this shortly.... especially if it lends to my being allowed off for all and any invented religious observations.
     

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