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The ethics of loyalty to your workplace

Thursday 15 December, 2022
by Anonymous

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Your workplace has sent out the dates for the office shutdown. This year the forced leave period has been extended to much more than the 3 days between Christmas and New Year you had been expecting.

You do not celebrate Christmas and with family overseas had been planning a trip home next year, but with 2 weeks of leave being forced upon you now, having enough leave to take an extended break will be difficult to achieve.  You have objected to the leave but have been told that for a small start-up it is a liability to have a build-up of entitlements, and as it is a quiet period the business will shut-down and everyone is expected to be on leave at the same time. No exceptions.

You enjoy your work and have loyally contributed to its success, but do feel disappointed at being asked to prioritise the needs of the business when your personal circumstances are not even being considered. You understand that most of your colleagues will happily accept this policy, but just because you are the odd one out does it mean you shouldn't say something?

What would you do?

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There are 6 comments for The ethics of loyalty to your workplace.

Re: The ethics of loyalty to your workplace

Monday 19 December, 2022
by Mohamed
I think any workplace now, regardless of size, should adjust their policies to be more multicultural and inclusive. They should also be cognizant that there are other calendars that are followed aside from Gregorian calendar. In this particular case, the employee should be allowed to take extra leave days over his/her allocated leave balance. (i.e. go into negative balance)

Re: The ethics of loyalty to your workplace

Monday 19 December, 2022
by Tina
This exact same issue has happened to me. I am taking the 2 weeks leave over shutdown and will take leave without when I take my extended holiday overseas. I understand that it is a great time for the business to shut down, so I plan for this throughout the year.

Re: The ethics of loyalty to your workplace

Monday 19 December, 2022
by Mamta
I would have a conversation with my Manger about how am I feeling. Whilst I respect my organisation's policy I need to ensure that I am comfortable with what am I asked for. They still need to consider my priorities and should work for mutual benefit. I am not denying to use my leaves, I am only asking them to be considerate.

Re: The ethics of loyalty to your workplace

Monday 19 December, 2022
by Anon
Westpac make us take 3 weeks.

Re: The ethics of loyalty to your workplace

Friday 23 December, 2022
by BW
I find it curious that respect is one sided here.

When these sorts of conditions are demanded, e.g. 'forced' leave, this is being disrespectful of the needs of the employee.

Is it disrespectful of an employee to raise this, or in effect demand that is unfair? Sure the employee could look for work elsewhere, more aligned to their needs, but I find it curious that employers (especially the big ones) are so quick to throw the 'you need to be more respectful of the business' line, when clearly it isn't being reciprocated.

Who's group being unethical here?

Re: The ethics of loyalty to your workplace

Saturday 31 December, 2022
by Enough!
To state the obvious, this is a case of the employer giving primacy of its own interests ie financial performance. Killing off employee leave entitlements is one of the laziest/easiest ways to reduce liabilities and improve financial position. For poor performing senior managers and the executives it is a no-brainer to take advantage of employees in this way. And, never get in the way of an executive's performance bonus.
In the 3 businesses I have worked in that apply this type of policy it has always been cloaked beneath a message of providing employee time to switch off and their own well-being. This has always been rendered transparent and duplicitous by those same execs demanding employees cover lost productivity by working twice as hard and long in the lead up to Christmas.
I could respect the argument if the business' involved also made the decision to reduce the output required over the same period that resources were removed that are needed.
The business world still continues over Christmas, New Year and into January. The Banking and finance industry continues to perform the same functions.
Essentially, businesses adopting such employment practices are behaving unethically by requiring employees to work additional, unpaid hours pre and post their Christmas shutdowns to complete the output they demand must still be achieved.
For businesses this carries a double bonus - managing liabilities and reducing costs.
For employees, unless we all provide a firm 'No' the employer can continue to establish a culture and expectation that this is ok. Time to join a union don't you think?

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