Holiday Leave Crashing with Manager, Was Told to Change The Day

Hi OZB, my first post here. sorry for my bad English, Im LOTE speaker.

Let's get into it. So, my gf and I were looking to have a holiday leave for 2 weeks in July 2020. So we went to talk to our manager. My gf got approved easily, big corporate, first to ask, first to get, period. I, on the other hand, work in family business. Initially, manager said there shouldn't be a problem, it's so far ahead and plenty of time for other to plan for your leave. So, we bought ticket, booked accommodation and get excited about our holiday (yay!)

Now here comes the problem, my manager just came back from holiday. We met today and I was told that manager has, in her exact word, " commitment to attend ceremony oversea in July 2020". She told me I should move my holiday as it crashes with her. She offers to help me pay some penalty fee for ticket amendment, but I think that is not the case.

My gf is not really happy, she said we shouldn't accommodate my manager and stand firm with our plan. I am not sure how to bring it up with manager. So, what do you think should be my next move? Thanks for answering my post! cheers


  • +12

    This happens in big business too

    If they cover all costs , you weren't going to any unique or special event on those times and your GF can move hers one or 2 weeks then I would move it just to keep them happy.

  • +15

    I would tally up all my costs to moving this and ensure they cover everything. It is always good to keep the boss happy, if you can.

    • +77

      usually the GF is the boss

    • +1

      That what i would do

  • +29

    It's a bit sad that an employer can't keep true on their word for something so far ahead, 2 weeks for something 8 months away.

  • +71

    If that's the sort of treatment you get I'd rather just aim to have a new job by then instead cos I'd have my doubts how things would be long term.

    • +2


    • +1

      I'm glad I'm not the only one who was thinking this.

  • +13

    Unfortunately, you should have emailed your manager saying "As discussed confirming I am booking in leave for x-y July 2020.

    I would go to the one you spoke to and get them to confirm.

  • +1

    What is the worst thing that may happen if you don’t comply?

    • +38

      That would be a permanent holiday

      • +29

        That would be a permanent holiday

        And, so what if it is ?

        The manager is trying to force OP to give up their holiday, just so SHE can go on her own holiday, and AFTER she initially sad yes to OP's leave.

        This is the definition of a s—t job & a s—t manager.

      • Even not. She may make Op's job harder later on

    • +8

      it happened to a former colleague. Manager won't back up. They can't endure the psychotic pressure from manager so have to resign. I can see where this is heading.

      • +1

        Psychotic mind games, you must play them too

        • +2

          Username checks out…

  • +23

    Start looking for a new job, not worth working for someone unreasonable like that.

    • +9

      I wish it is as easy as it sound

      • +18

        You have 8 months. Get cracking.

      • +13

        some options which you can consider (depending on how much you need her as a future reference):

        • Withdraw your leave and then submit your 4 weeks resignation notice in 7 months time
        • Apply for 2 weeks leave the 2 weeks before she leaves. As soon as your leave starts submit your 4 weeks resignation notice.

        Both scenarios you get to leave lawfully but puts her in a sticky position which will make her realise 1. how stupid they were and much they need you 3. puts them in a sticky timeline to rehire.

        • +5

          Apply for 2 weeks leave the 2 weeks before she leaves. As soon as your leave starts submit your 4 weeks resignation notice.

          Please do this OP. This is brilliant revenge.
          Start saving up a cash buffer as well to cover the employment gap.

  • +18

    I think you are too agreeable (meaning, you want to please others).

    This will mean that you are at risk of people taking advantage of you. Particularly, people who are psychopaths will search for and target excessively agreeable people, and use them for their own ends. (Your manager seems like a bit of a psychopath.)

    I think you should start watching a few videos, or reading books, on how to develop self-esteem, become more assertive and become more disagreeable, so people don't take advantage of you.

    Also, you should listen to your girlfriend.

    • +1

      I agree with you here. Question here is how assertive I need to be? Where is the line? If it is a corporate with HR, sure I wouldn't give in. But for a family business, with no corporate structure, who would you ask for help? I am trying to find a way both me and manager are happy.

      • +5

        Maybe just reason that since you were given verbal approval, your f2f has made arrangements and it's not just an issue of paying cancellation fee. It's more that EVERYTHINF has been booked.

        If it was just you, then thags fine, but this is different. Ask manager to reconsider.

        If she won't budge, leave the place. I know it sounds extreme, but she promised something and went back on it. What else could she do in the future? Oh yeh you'll be paid soon…oh yeah your super is going to be there soon….

        • +1

          Agreed. Am considering if she wont back up on this, my only choice is to start looking for new job.

        • She didn’t promise thou.

          • @Punda: Im not sure OP is not clear or what? I gave her duration and specific month, not specific date, which manager already verbally respond by saying there shouldn't be a problem.

            • @SickMyDuck: Should t b3 a problem is t a promise.
              There’s 31 days in July, you want 14 off. You should have given specific dates, that’s how leave requests work.

              • +3

                @Punda: Leave requests should always be in formal writing.

                • +1

                  @ipiok: Agreed! I think the girlfriend rushed in and booked in haste. I would never book anything without a written approval.

              • +1

                @Punda: No dates confirmed, just a general month? Out of luck I reckon.

                • +1

                  @Randolph Duke: Yup. Shouldn’t be a problem isn’t a definitive answer to me.

      • At a family business you will always be the dogsbody and get put to the end of the queue for promotion, bonuses, everything.

        I've worked for 3 family businesses and they were all the same.

        Get the hell out of there.

  • +1

    Get a new job

  • +9

    man her agreeing to pay a penalty fee is pretty good, a lot of workplaces would say tough luck and you're needed or else find a new job

    • +2

      Love your optimism. Given that the manager went back on their word, what’s to say they wouldn’t do it again? Don’t they say that great things come in 3s? 😀

    • +3

      Promises are cheap. Best to get that cash up front

    • Does penalty mean full costs? His and his Gf?

  • +10

    Who is going to look after your sick duck while you're on holiday?

    • Maybe you can feed it? After all, you seem to be showing great care and concern for it.

  • How man days overlap are we talking about here? What kind of business are we talking about? Most businesses can survive if they're closed for a few days … people can be accessible via phone/email for emergencies.

    I think the manager should consider just shutting down for a few days, while they need to dash overseas. Failing that, they should think about hiring a 3rd person for a few days to cover.

    • Well, more “competent” staff would solve the problem but a small family business with little budget to stretch, I doubt manager would want to hire more people.

  • +1

    If she has agreed to pay the penalty fee(s), then make a list of all the things that need to be re-booked and a penalty fee paid for. Present it to her and see what she says. The boss does sound pretty accommodating, and maybe this list will prove to be more expensive than just hiring a temp worker for the time you are both away, or she may come to some other arrangement.

    • +1

      Hopefully the latter. Changing plan is obviously more expensive and I already pointed that out to manager.

      • -3

        She probably just doesn’t like your “sickmyduck” attitude, and is reacting to that.

  • +2

    Email all companies you have made bookings with. Get them to respond in writing what the cancellation costs are - even if there is no refund get them to respond that i.e. flights will likely say there is no cancellation so you will forfeit full cost. Also, do a comparison on what it will cost you to travel 1 or 2 months later in case you are not getting screwed on that either i.e. travel in october may be cheaper than december. After this tally up all the costs and present it to your manager and advise manager that here are the costs including any extra over that may arise from travelling at a different time (do not raise the cost of travel difference if it is cheaper). Then ask what they would you like you to do, noting that they are covering costs. There is no skin off your back besides ego, if they are willing to pay for everything, why would you care.

    Also this leads me to believe you are either and extremely important part of their organisation and the back bone to which all things are tied into or you are just the push around that they can mistreat at will. I work in a company where holiday clashes are common place amongst senior managers, we just redelegate responsibilities and move on.

    • "Email all companies you have made bookings with….After this tally up all the costs"

      And why should he waste his personal time/weekend doing this? I would just start looking for a new job before handing in my resignation to this toxic manager. Much better use of time.

      My experience working with this kind of person is once you budge on one thing, they'll walk all over you on everything else. Better to move on.

      • +3

        Something has come up 8 months in advance for the manager to ask OP to change their dates, she then told them she would pay additional costs. This is a completely normal thing to happen. You've got thin skin if you think this is worth quitting a job over.

  • +1

    Maybe start of trying to resolve it nicely, then if they wont play ball, you could go hardcore.
    Tell the manager you can not change your plans now. If the only option is for you to resign in order to take your leave that they approved and are now denying, it will be considered a constructive dismissal and you will lodge a claim for unfair dismissal with Fair Work.

    • thanks, that's nice to know Fair Work can help.

      • +1

        This is really not that great advice. It will not be considered constructive dismissal, because it is not.

    • This would not be successful.

  • +6

    Don't book before you have had your leave actually confirmed in writing.

    • +1

      Lesson learnt.

      • This was my first thought too.
        If you don't have it in writing then this is difficult.

        Is there a formal process for leave application at your workplace? Have you applied for leave before?
        If there is then you should definitely have completed to formal process before booking.

        If not then I think you have reasonable ground to stay firm. If you were fired it may be a fair work issue as mentioned above.

        • +2

          Why does it matter that it's not in writing, in this situation? Since the boss isn't denying that they ever approved, it, but saying they revoked the approval.

          • @jaybmate: Without anything in writing you end up sounding like a child 'but you said…' etc

            Better to make a written record of anything like this, all it takes is one email to confirm what was discussed.

        • There is no formal process. At my office it works this way; 1 verbally asked, 2 verbally approved, 3 find the specific date, 4 mark on manager calendar. Mine was stuck at 4 as manager was on holiday when I got to 3. But was welcomed with surprise of revoking number 2.

          • +1

            @SickMyDuck: Well if there is no formal written approval for leave then I think you should stand your ground. I doubt your boss will do anything about it and if they do then it is likely they will make your life difficult in similar situations in the future so not worth putting up with it now.

            If you were to be fired you probably have a fair chance at fair work case. Just keep a written diary/record of what happens with your leave. (e.g. when you asked etc..)

            Try be pragmatic with how you deal with it. If your boss has some event they really need to attend (e.g wedding of close family or something) then maybe you should try accommodate. (If you had something similar I'm sure you would want people to help in that situation).
            If there isn't than just say your partner can't reschedule her holiday so you can't reschedule your leave. (Make up some stupid excuse)

            Good luck.
            Let us know how it goes.

  • +1

    "Initially, manager said there shouldn't be a problem". Theres your problem right there….

    • Just reread that.

      Sound like it was more than just a "should be fine"

      Because the manager came back and asked OP to move his leave which suggests it was approved.

      OP needs to make it clear whether he explicitly asked for leave within a set date or not?

  • +4

    Perks of working for a family business is that you have more bargaining power. Small businesses can't always attract good workers nor can they afford to fall behind while a role is empty. If you're a good employee, the manager will not want to lose you over something like this. You need to stand firm. Don't make threats, just tell them politely but firmly that you need to go on holidays as planned and it can't be changed.

    • +1

      agreed. There is still time to resolve in a proper manner. I am hoping that we can reach a happy result here. But gotta prepare for the worst.

  • -2

    Its almost a year away.
    Plenty of time to organise something.

    Bottom line is did OP get "official approval? ?
    Did OP state that they were booking a holiday based on the approval?
    Did the manager book in the time before OP did?

    Does OP realise situations dont crash (unless you are in a moving object) they CLASH !

  • +4

    Get the date that the manager said it was fine.
    Work out the total costs of changing dates for you and your partner.

    Send email saying that leave was approved on ____ date. You were told on ___ date that the company wanted to cancel the leave. You do not wish to move dates but because of the change the price difference would be ______ . If the company is happy to pay the difference then you will reluctantly look at changing the dates to suit.

  • -3

    I don't know how people here are seriously suggesting to quit. I thought people here would know better that life is unfair and we just got to accept that we have the lower hand in situations like these. You can try play hardball but you still have to respect your boss if you want to keep your job. My advice to OP is call off the holiday and look for a new job. I've been in a similar situation before and I felt like going anyway knowing it was a bad decision in the long run but unless you're really confident you can find another job and don't need the money I wouldn't risk it.

    • +1

      okay, im trying to translate your comment. So, u disagreed with suggesting to quit but advice me to call off holiday and look for new job. So basically, quitting?

      • +1

        I'm saying call off the holiday but work there while looking for a new job because a company that treats it's employees like that will cause you more stress in the long run. Yea you might get a new job straight away but you might not. That's why i say don't quit/go on a holiday anyway unless you're confident you can find a new job straight away and can live without earning a decent income for a while i.e. prepared for the consequences.

        • thank you, great advice. I am starting to looking for new job now.

  • +1

    Did you give her the actual dates you want off? Not sure why anyone would book anything without submitting a leave request and getting a written reply. Is the ceremony the manager has to attend for work or private? If you quit you may not get another job willing to accommodate your dates either. I think you stuffed up and rushed into booking.

    • Thanks for your comment. I followed my work place procedure here. The one who messed this up is the manager as she revoked her initial verbal approval which she admitted, hence, the offer for compensation for my ticket amendment.

      • +1

        Her reply wasn’t definitive. If she’s offering to compensate you then take it.

      • Well, you messed up by taking a vague verbal approval as being set in stone…

  • What actually happens to the business if you are both on leave? Are there other people who can deal with what you do even if it's not ideal? Or is it a case of the business stops/more serious repurcussions?

    If it's just an inconvenience talk to the manager and tell them you can't change it

  • Just say this is a very important trip with Girlfriend. If your boss is female, she gets the hint.

    • If she is single entrepeneur no she won't get it

  • +1

    If they can't make plans correctly with 8 months notice imagine how good it would feel to put in your 2 weeks notice on their last day before holidays.

    • that's why we planned so far ahead. To make sure everyone has time to prepare. I even asked manager the time she prefer me to take holiday. and now im facing this situation.

    • Even better, take sick leave first and hand it in then.

    • 2 weeks is for the weak. take all AL and just leave the day you come back.

      get alternative references handy.

  • +1

    Start looking for a new job. Your manager seems very unreasonable, considering you've given a long notice period.

    • one of the thing i will do after getting this treatment from manager.

  • -2

    Your manager has had her plans changed after she approved your leave. In her world, she is more important than your plans. Can you reasonably expect her to change her probably important personal plans because of her employee? If yes, then try to convince her that your plans are important and that it would be expensive to change them. If she still says no to you, try to convince and offer to help her train your replacement for those two weeks. And just a word of advise, don’t get your hopes high in relation to Fair Work’s help with your issue.

  • +2

    I would make the boss repay all cancellation costs but I wouldn't actually cancel my bookings. I'll just keep my holiday booked in and change my job before the holiday period and ensure my new employer are aware of my planned leave. I wouldn't change jobs to early next year so it doesn't look like a knee jerk reaction to the leave.

    The employer should see it's employees as human beings and have empathy rather than see them as tools with no personal life.

  • Instead of paying some of your costs, can they hire a temporary person to cover you?

    • One of a solution but manager will have to go through all the recruiting hassle. She has a tendency to opt for option that makes staff suffer but convenience for herself.

      • You can offer or your wife if it will help keep your job. Then you can add to your resume recruitment and induction.

  • This is the universe telling you to find a new job. If manager asks, say I'm not changing my dates because I won't be here then.

  • +2

    "She told me I should move my holiday as it crashes with her" wow this manager must have very thick skin. Imagine how much of a prick you'd have to be to even suggest this to someone? This kind of person really gets on my nerves.

    Like everyone else, I think it's definitely time for you to move on.

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