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The play must go on: getting time off to see your child's nativity play

Published 01 December 2014

It’s that time of year when working parents receive the news their budding little thespians have landed a role in the school nativity play.

Getting time off to watch your child tread the boards of the school hall, and to capture that moment that will inevitably make them cringe later in life on your smartphone or tablet, can create an emotional dilemma.

Many parents fear work commitments will force them to miss their offspring’s starring or bit-part role in the Christmas play.

However the opportunity to sit – if you are early and lucky enough to grab a seat – or stand and watch the performance, need not pass any employee by.

It is worth having an informal and polite discussion with your boss first and offering up a solution to how this time off can be accommodated. Some employers do understand, but should Christmas spirit prove to be in short supply there are options.

Every employee has a statutory right to request flexible working – vary their working hours -after being employed for 26 weeks or more.

The request should be put in writing, only one request can be made in a 12-month period, but it can be rejected if the employer has a sound business reason for doing so. The employee can appeal.

Most employees whether full or part time are legally entitled to annual leave, and alternatively can book the day off.

Last Christmas leading supermarket chain ASDA came up with the perfect solution. After deciding the festive play was so unmissable it allowed staff to have ‘nativity leave.’

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