Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Annual leave

In the past year, I have been sent emails (twice) by Human Resources to take some time off. Not because I'm working too hard but I have accumulated so much annual leave, it had become a concern to them. It is a rule (which I never heard of) that government employees need to take 10 days annual leave to avoid accumulation. I don't know how they going to enforce this rule. It's not like they can force you to take annual leave or take away your annual leave either. The only problem is when you change contracts, the annual leave would not be transferable. This would mean the department would have to give you time off to clear your annual leave before your contract expires, and that becomes a logistic nightmare, or they have to reimburse you financially for your annual leave, which they don't want to do.

At one point, I had around 50 days of annual leave, which meant I could have gone on holiday for two and half months. Or I could have split up the annual leave and not come into work on Saturday mornings again for the next two years. Thankfully for Human Resources, I have taken time off for my examinations and my longest holiday to bring the figure down to 30 days.

I was talking to a colleague about this "problem" (and what a problem to have). Maybe the reason is that I don't have a family or any responsibilities. They have to take time off to take their kids to doctor appointments or school interviews. Also they need to take time off to spend time with their children, either during the summer holidays or going on vacation.

I pondered this and looked at my annual leave record. I have never taken my full quota of annual leave in a single year. Even when I was doing my hospital rotations, where we are suppose to clear our annual leave so the quota doesn't get unfairly passed on to the general outpatient clinics, I have never cleared my lot. I have spent about 3 weeks of annual leave on examinations (plus some extra days as examination leave). The others have been spent going on vacation but that is about once per year. Some people have gone on 2-3 holidays per year. One year, I only spent just over the minimum requirement of annual leave to avoid Human Resources badgering me.

Perhaps I'm a workaholic. I do arrive to work very early to tidy up patient summaries, even though I don't have to. I have volunteered for overtime, even though I personally don't need to, and have used a weeks' annual leave to do overtime. I never take a day or two out just to relax at home. Hopefully this will be remedied as I will be taking some time off this summer to spend time with my dogs when my parents are away.

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