General Question

bkburbo's avatar

Is it bad to take vacation during your first year at a job?

Asked by bkburbo (238 points ) October 9th, 2008

Even if the employee handbook states you get 5 days after your first 6 months?

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28 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

I don’t think it’s a “bad” thing at all, if you first discuss it with your superiors and make sure that you have their support.

Nimis's avatar

I thought it would be too! But after asking several people who are responsible for hiring others,
it doesn’t seem so. So long as you’ve got it all cleared with them way ahead of time.

makemo's avatar

Somehow there’s a bit of a contradiction there, when you have to ask for what’s in your rights to do.

Strangely, though, society seems to be like that far too often. I use to think, rules are rules. If the employers manual says you can, you can. It’s their problem, if they’ve given false instructions. (Of course, this may be a harsh way of putting it, but heck, these are important things.)

jca's avatar

i work for the government, where you take the time you have, nobody’s business. doesn’t affect anything workwise.

squirbel's avatar

I understand exactly what you mean. I recently just started working a real job where vacation days were granted. Just know this – your days may not roll over – you lose them on January 1st.

The company is giving you that time to take a break – it’s not bad etiquette to use what was given you.

tedibear's avatar

If you have days to use, use them! And, as someone mentioned, it may be that they don’t rollover and you will lose them. It shouldn’t be an issue to use days that your employer gives you.

Mr_M's avatar

No it’s not a bad thing “technically”, if they grant it after six months, for you to put in for the days after six months. It’s not usual, though. Wouldn’t you rather save up some days so that you can take two full weeks sometime?

For all your new colleagues know, you never got vacation at your last job which is why you’re taking it so soon, so don’t be uncomfortable doing it.

jballou's avatar

It’s not bad or even unusual. In fact, I know of several people that had to take vacation within the first few weeks of a new job for important family events. It’s all about communication. Good communication, giving notice/request plenty of time in advance, and being diligent about what you have to get done and what will be waiting for you when you get back is what’s important.

Vacation time is your right, not a privilege.

scamp's avatar

I’ve only been on this job 4 and a half months, and I am taking some vaction time this coming Monday. I worked hard for it, and I deserve the rest!!

MrItty's avatar

In my company, you get a prorated amount of vacation your first year, depending on on when you were hired. (For example, if you’re hired April 1st, you’d get 3/4 of the vacation time you’d otherwise earn for the full year. If you’re hired on July 1st, you’d get 1/2. Etc).

All employees MUST use their vacation time before the end of the year. No “or else they lose it”. It is against company rules to NOT use your vacation. Therefore, for my company, this question is irrelevant. Neither you nor your boss have a choice in the matter. You MUST use whatever vacation time you earn.

In my personal case, I was hired on December 1st. I earned 1/12th of the 3 weeks I would normally earn per year. 120 hours * 1/12 = 10 hours. I was required to leave work 2 hours early on December 30 and to take December 31 off when my manager realized I hadn’t used the time I accrued in that first month.

jca's avatar

where i work, you get 5 days right off the bat, sick time. you get one week after six months, vacation time. the first full calendar year, you get two weeks vacation. the second calendar year and every year after, you get three weeks vacation. in addition, starting the first full calendar year you get one week personal, one week per year (5 days). you get one sick day per month. plus 12 holidays. if you don’t use the personal by the year end, it becomes sick time. that’s why i love the government. you never lose any time, that’s a union rule. so you just take it.

cookieman's avatar

While I agree with everyone’s comments, it depends on where you work.

Where I am now they pride themselves on NOT taking time off. “Been here 12 years, not one sick day” or “I’ll take a day here and there, but never a whole week. There’s too much work to do”.

They’re insane.

marinelife's avatar

@cprevite That they are. (Been there and done that and glad I got out.)

Vacation makes you a more productive employee. Go!

cak's avatar

No, it’s not bad. Talk to the employer and let them know what you plan on doing and make sure you aren’t planning on taking it at a busy time or a time where a lot of employees generally plan on taking off.

I worked at a place where my boss – he was really high up, always took the last three weeks of December off. His team that he worked directly with got the same. My first year there, I wasn’t sure how that worked for me and he clarified it, as well as pointed out the times of year where we were extremely busy and needed to shy away from taking time off, if at all possible.

Because we were exempt from the rule that allowed us to bank our accured vacation time, due to the additional 3 weeks that other employees didn’t get, we had to use our other time or we lost it.

Just talk to your boss or HR, whichever you are supposed see about vacation time and ask them if it’s ok.

emilyrose's avatar

I think you SHOULD. You need to show them that you have a life and that you will take that vacation, thank you very much!

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

It has taken me a lifetime to finally get this, but whether you have the days to take or not really isn’t the point. Whether it’s in your “right” isn’t the point. In any workplace, you really have no rights and it is your responsibility to get along with everyone, even though you feel that they aren’t doing their part to get along with you. Because…no matter what the policy book says, if your boss doesn’t like what your doing, he can get rid of you by just saying that your work was not satisfactory. End of story. So that being said; clear your vacation plans with your boss, let your co-workers know if it is going to affect them, and do your best to clear your desk of anything urgent before you go.

jca's avatar

skaggfacemutt: government jobs and union jobs (all government jobs are union jobs, not all union jobs are government jobs) anyway, government and union jobs are not as you described. boss can’t get rid of you that easy.

emilyrose's avatar

I also think that in many offices a negative work culture is set up, so I think it’s important from the onset to “train” others what to expect from you. I think if you take vacation responsibly, i.e. you get work done before you go and check in with others on what might impact them, you are good to go.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My job is government, too. I have worked my government job for 20 years and I have seen people get sacked because they took too much time off (even if they had it coming), or pushed the envelope in any variety of ways. I stand by my statement that yes, your boss or superviser can sack you. Also, they aren’t stupid enough to give an excuse that can bite them in the a** later. This is the biggest mistake young people make; this idea that labor laws or corporate policy will protect their job.

jca's avatar

skagg: maybe you and i are misunderstanding each other. There’s a clear difference between too much time off (your words) and taking the time off that’s coming to you/due you (what i was referring to). yes, at my job, too, if you exceed your time off, you might be brought up on charges, if you don’t have a good excuse, like a medical note. but i believe the questioner was asking about taking vacation, nothing excessive. in addition, if it’s specifically in the union contract (your time off, what has to be done if you’re out as far as medical documentation or whatever) then a good union could knock down anything the job tries to use. where i work, i’ve been here 16 years and i know i would be very hard to fire. believe me they can try. i had a baby and took 7 months off (3 were without pay) and i just got sick and took 3 months off, and then returned 12 hours per week for one month. 2 of the months were without pay. it was all documented by the doctor. they couldn’t fire me for that if they tried.

Mr_M's avatar

jca, I’ve been a manager for over thirty years. Union or not, if they want to get rid of you, they will. And if they DID want to get rid of you, there’d be a reason.

scamp's avatar

@MrItty, My company is very similar to yours. We get a certain amount of time off which starts building up after 90 days of employment. (You get so much time per hour worked) I have 2 weeks coming to me after only 4 months! If I don’t take it before the first of the year, I lose it. Looks like I will have some fun holidays this year!

Mr_M's avatar

My job let you keep what you don’t use. It’s a nice bundle when you leave the place.

jca's avatar

Mr. M: i think we were originally talking about taking time off, not being fired for “if they want to get rid of you they will and if they did, there’d be a reason.” going back to the question about time off, in the government, where i work (which is what i was referring to) you get the time, you can take it. like i said in my later post, when i got sick, i had documentation and i knew not to worry. now if i had other stuff going on with my job, that may be a different story, but they’d still have a fight on their hands. that’s how unions work. they fight for you. there are hearings and stuff like that. it would take time. it would not be easy for them.

scamp's avatar

I’ll let you know how it works out bkburbo. I started this job on May 27th, and in 15 minutes I am going to punch out and go camping for the next 4 days! Yippeee!!

pathfinder's avatar

If the time to take a holiday is not on for one month so it should be without a problem.I mean the time what you take of.In the law by.The holiday what you are able to get is depend haw long have you been working for the same company so than your period to take a holiday relay on that.In each country it does go some haw else but it is calculation of hours in work like credits.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

The original question was “is it bad to take vacation during your first year at a job when you earn 5 days after 6 months.” It wasn’t a question of whether this person had earned the time off, but whether it was “bad form” to take it when still fairly new at this job. That is why I say, clear it with your boss. I still wouldn’t do it if I felt any contention there, because the bottom line is that if you want to keep your job, you don’t want to make waves, especially in a fairly new job.

desiree333's avatar

if an employer gives you days off, it is not bad etiquette to use them. They cant give you days then think its bad if you use them.

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