Term time only contract. Time off for wedding

Hi all
advice please as always.
I work at a school and therefore term time only. We have finally managed to book our wedding and I have submitted a request for two weeks unpaid leave from school. I am support staff not a teacher. 

The time off has been refused ☹️

my question is…where do I stand employment wise if I just take the time off? We have booked the wedding and honeymoon as the previous headteacher had previously approved my leave (when the wedding was originally booked prior to COVID)

what would happen if I just don’t go to work?
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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,253
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    edited 5 January 2023 at 6:53PM
    You end up on a disciplinary for misconduct for failing to attend work when you should be there. Whether this is the type of misconduct that could lead to you losing your job, I’m not sure.

    The fact that your earlier leave was approved before Covid is irrelevant, because those dates have been and gone and this is a new request. You really should have checked with your employer before booking and paying any money out. Or booked the wedding for the holidays when you knew that time off would not be an issue. 


    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,029
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    Far1974 said:
    Hi all
    advice please as always.
    I work at a school and therefore term time only. We have finally managed to book our wedding and I have submitted a request for two weeks unpaid leave from school. I am support staff not a teacher. 

    The time off has been refused ☹️

    my question is…where do I stand employment wise if I just take the time off? We have booked the wedding and honeymoon as the previous headteacher had previously approved my leave (when the wedding was originally booked prior to COVID)

    what would happen if I just don’t go to work?
    Being absent without leave is normally gross misconduct and so at best a big black mark on your record and at worse being sacked.

    Having a term time contract means you have large gaps in your work anyway... seems perfect for putting a wedding into one of those. 
  • Far1974
    Far1974 Posts: 45
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    I know my fault really and totally but my husband to be works abroad and it was the only time we could fit the wedding in

    i worked it around workload being at its minimum at this time

    I obviously expected it as unpaid leave but assumed stupidly and wrongly 😢
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,029
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    Did you ask why it had been declined? If its because there is already someone else off on holiday or such then maybe the other person would be willing to move theirs?
  • Far1974
    Far1974 Posts: 45
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    There’s no one else off. Problem is I am term time only so don’t get annual leave. Under the previous head, others have been granted time off for marriage and honeymoons. I’ve really messed up 😢
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,253
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    edited 5 January 2023 at 7:50PM
    Have you spoken to the headteacher at all as opposed to just put in the request in on whatever system it is that you use?

    It can’t hurt to explain what you’ve said here; that you genuinely didn’t think it would be a problem with it being previously agreed; that obviously you would’ve done it between terms if at all possible but your fiance isn’t around then, and yes you appreciate you should have  checked again first, and you will do everything you possibly can to make sure work has been done before and after, or anything else that you think might help. It has to be worth a try.

    Can your fiance not get leave from his job instead?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,732
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    These sort of contracts are very restrictive because events do crop up during term time and you have no leave to use. Even though you could have chosen the date this time, there can be close family functions in term time that you have no leave for. 

    If your record is otherwise good, I would think you would get a warning. I do wonder if a compromise may be a wedding plus mini moon and a full honey moon in school holidays.
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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,253
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    edited 5 January 2023 at 7:56PM
    The problem might be that even if you are unpaid, there is still a cost implication for the school if they need to get agency cover to take your place. That may have been less of an issue for the previous head but with the economic situation being as it is it’s probably making more of a difference now than it would have done before.
    Do you work full time? Can you offer to cover for other people, for sickness for example to try and address the balance? Any voluntary duties that everyone else hates that you can step into for a bit?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Far1974
    Far1974 Posts: 45
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    elsien said:
    Have you spoken to the headteacher at all as opposed to just put in the request in on whatever system it is that you use?

    It can’t hurt to explain what you’ve said here; that you genuinely didn’t think it would be a problem with it being previously agreed; that obviously you would’ve done it between terms if at all possible but your fiance isn’t around then, and yes you appreciate you should have  checked again first, and you will do everything you possibly can to make sure work has been done before and after, or anything else that you think might help. It has to be worth a try.

    Can your fiance not get leave from his job instead?
    I submitted the request on the hand written form and then sent an email to the head explaining the circumstances. 

    husband to be has just started a new role in his business and will be away for most of the year: 
  • Far1974
    Far1974 Posts: 45
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    Elsien, I actually do volunteer to support the school families in my own time anyway. My work fortunately is my work and I can keep on top of it. I won’t need any agency staff to cover me so there’s no cost at all to the school:

    I’m just gutted  all plans have gone wrong again but my own fault 
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