‘I don’t care if you have children – whoever asks first gets Christmas off’
A woman has sparked debate online after saying she doesn’t give preferential treatment to parents when it comes to booking annual leave at Christmas – insisting that it is given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
Sharing her story anonymously, the woman said that parents who work for her often feel entitled to the time off and will kick up a fuss if they are scheduled to work over the festive period.
But she insists that whoever asks first can have the time off, and it doesn’t matter whether they have children or not – anyone who wants the time off has to ask.
She took to Mumsnet to explain her position after another post went viral, where a parent had asked a child-free coworker to swap shifts so she could celebrate Christmas with her kids.
The woman said: “I don’t believe parents should be given priority when it comes to time off on any holiday, be it summer or Christmas etc.
“I think it should always, generally, work on a first-come first-served basis.
“I’m a parent now but my opinion hasn’t changed on that. I think if someone child-free has gotten there with the request before you then that’s tough.”
She went on to say how in the past she had been refused time off in the summer because parents had booked their holidays in advance and were given first dibs on the best dates.
The woman said at the time it made her feel “annoyed” and as if she was being discriminated against for not having children, so now she doesn’t give parents preferential treatment.
She continued: “It’s definitely something I’ve experienced in my workplace before and after having children and it feels very unfair.
“I really don’t think it’s anyone else’s responsibility to ensure you get time off during school holidays or things like Christmas and that a childfree colleague has as much right to book the time off as any parent.”
After the woman shared her views online, other Mumsnet users rushed to the post to comment their opinion.
One said: “Things like Christmas should be shared equally, if you don’t have one Christmas off you can have the next instead.
“Otherwise you get the individual who books all the ‘best’ days off at the start of the year and screw anyone else who can’t make plans that early.”
A second user added: “Being a parent is my choice, it’s not for that choice to impact on other people’s ability to take annual leave.
“If you have to work holidays you have to find childcare, just the way it is.”
While a third said: “I have always gone out of my way to allow colleagues with kids to have Christmas etc – but to be honest it is starting to annoy me.”