Overall approach to Festive Leave
Members and branches will be aware of the approach adopted by both Jobcentres and Universal Credit Service Centres in respect of annual leave during the festive period. The specific weeks initially under consideration were those commencing 18th December and 25th December. Both Jobcentres and Universal Credit Service Centres have been encouraged to maximise the amount of leave that staff can take off during the festive period and for this to be a minimum of 40% on week commencing 18th December and 50% on week commencing 25th December. Members have been asked to express their preferences.
Week Commencing 1 January 2018
Initial proposals did not include the first week in January; the implication being that this week would be business as usual. PCS expressed concerns that this did not take account of the fact that the majority of schools would be closed during this week and that this would mean that many members would have child care issues to manage. It was agreed that more flexibility would be applied, particularly on 2 January where considerably more than the 18% business as usual quota had applied for leave.
Priority Work Areas
Key work areas have been prioritised for the Festive Period. In Service Centres this will be supporting payments and telephony. Jobcentres are required to provide face-to-face services for the most vulnerable customers and those making New Claims. This means that it should be possible for many districts in the Jobcentre networks to allow significantly more than the 40% and 50% for weeks commencing 18 and 25 December respectively.
This may mean that members may be required to deliver work that does not form part of their normal day to day duties during this period.
Confirmation of agreement of requests
Following yesterday’s meeting with PCS nationally, managers in Jobcentres and UC Service Centres are now in a position to agree annual leave requests for the Festive Period and staff will be informed today.
Disagreements and disputes
Where members are not able to agree their Festive Leave requests they should speak to their PCS Representative and raise a grievance if necessary.
Where Jobcentres or UC Service Centres are not compliant with the advice set out in this briefing branches are advised to raise issues with Mark Page and Sam Hall via email@example.com.