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The show must go on; giving your employees time off to see their children's nativity plays.

Published 09 December 2014

The school Christmas play is an intensely treasured festive tradition which can leave employers facing an emotional dilemma.

Working parents will no doubt love to see their budding little thespians tread the boards of the school hall.

Many parents fear work commitments and bosses unwilling to give them the time off, will force them to miss their offspring’s starring or bit-part role in the Christmas play.

For an employer faced with a request for time off for such an occasion it is worth remembering many schools stage performances on various days, and after school to accommodate working parents.

If,however, this does not prove to be a solution it is worth having an informal discussion with the employee in an attempt to find an answer as to how this time off can be accommodated.

If this does not work the employee does has a statutory right to request flexible working, and any formal request should be submitted in writing and considered.

The company can reject it if there is a sound business reason for doing so. The employee should be allowed to appeal

Most employees whether full or part time are legally entitled to annual leave, and alternativelythey may choose to book a day off.

Last Christmas a leading supermarket chain 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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