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Ross Miller
Ross Miller,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1767
Experience:  Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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I have taken unpaid leave in January and February. I’ve just

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I have taken unpaid leave in January and February. I’ve just received my February roster and looked at it to make sure there was nothing on it and to my surprise they’ve given me a duty on the 29th. Is there some loophole regarding this leap year day? The duty is essentially a day off, it’s reserved for e-learning, but to me it seems like they’re avoiding having to give me an extra day off any other month. Please advise. Thank you, Nina

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Are you in the UK?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I am.

So what was specifically agreed about the leave, what was confirmed when they approved it?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
This is what the email said:Hello,
Thank you for your unpaid leave application and patience.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working through the impact of significant changes to our flying programme, following the collapse of ***** ***** and changes to our 787 Trent 1000 engine inspection requirements. Both have resulted in additional rostered duties for both the Winter 2019 and Summer 2020 schedules. This means that no unpaid leave is currently available for March 2020.
We are pleased to be able to advise that you have been approved for unpaid leave in January and February 2020 (only).
You do not need to take any further action. If you have annual leave in these two months, this will remain in place and be paid as normal.
Many thanks for your interest,
I'm airline crew.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The duty is an e-learning day from 2019, which the company had to postpone to this year as it was so busy towards the end of 2019. So I should have already had it in 2019, but those of us who hadn't had theirs by the end of October (I think) were told that we would get them in the beginning of 2020. But how can they give it to me on a month off?

Thanks. So if this is an e-learning duty are you actually required to be anywhere physically present, or is it just something you have to do in your own time at home?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
We do the e-learning at home. The e-learning is part of our annual recurrent training. We do three days rostered at a training facility and then we get one e-learning day rostered separately and randomly any time during the year. Most of us get it in November when it’s quieter as the winter schedule has kicked in.

SO is the issue that you are being asked to do this and not get paid for it? Or is it that you do not want to do anything work-related on that date?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I do not want to do my duties on a month that I don’t even get paid to work. I’m not supposed to work in February. The e-learning is a duty day. I’m on a 50% contract and work nine days a month. If they give this day to me on a normal working month then it’s like a day off and I want that day off and I’m entitled to it. I did my e-learning in July on a normal day off.

Thanks. Whilst unpaid leave can be granted by the employer, they can potentially cancel it as well, although reasonable notice would be required. This is the same with annual leave – employers do have the right to change that if needed, although it is rare and again, notice is required.

What they could do is assign the e-learning date on the last day of the month in which you are taking unpaid leave but as it is a duty day you can argue that it should not count as part of your unpaid month and you should be paid for it.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I guess so. I just don’t see how this can be allowed. They are getting away with not having to give me a day off in a working month. I’m losing a day that I have earned.

they can place such a day wherever they want but as it is a duty day you should be paid for it still, so whether it is given to you in a working month (when it will be covered by your normal salary), or a period of unpaid leave (when they should ensure you are paid for it), the outcome is the same legally

Hope this clarifies

Hello I wondered if you were still looking for help with this matter.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Sure if you can clarify my position a little bit, that would help. I feel like they are stealing a day from me.

I would simply speak to them. Ultimately, their email to you stated that you have not to work in January or February, so this would include the 29th there is no "loophole" for them to do this. The best way to deal with this is highlight to them that the emails stated you had unpaid leave for the month of February and this does and should include the 29th. If you do end up having to "work" this day then you should be paid for it 100%.

I hope this information has helped.

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Kind regards


Ross Miller,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1767
Experience: Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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