Woman slams ‘cheeky’ parents for demanding time off over Christmas & school holidays – but splits opinion

A WOMAN has insisted annual leave from work should always be given on a "first come, first served" basis – and that parents should never be given preferential treatment for holiday.

The lady in question took to Mumsnet's Am I Being Unreasonable thread to ask for other people's opinions on the subject, after reading a story on Facebook about a parent who had asked a child-free colleague to give up some of her saved holiday dates.

"That's obviously a CF (cheeky f***er) request," she added in her post. "But in general, what do you think about parents and holiday requests Vs childfree colleagues?"

She then continued to reveal her own thoughts on the matter, insisting that her opinion hasn't changed despite becoming a parent herself.

"I don't believe parents should be given priority when it comes to time off on any holiday, be it summer or Christmas etc," she explained.

"I think it should always, generally, work on a first come first served basis."

Recalling numerous times she was previously "refused any sort of time off in the summer because every single parent in the office had booked off the summer and they were given first dibs on those dates", she admitted she was "annoyed" by being discriminated against for not having kids.

"I'm a parent now but my opinion hasn't changed on that," she added. "I think if someone child-free has gotten there with the request before you then that's tough."

She also said she doesn't think it's fair that people with children are given priority when it comes to taking time off over Christmas.

"It's definitely something I've experienced in my workplace before and after having DC (dear children) and it feels very unfair," she concluded.

"I really don't think it's anyone else's responsibility to ensure you get time off during school holidays or things like Christmas and that a childfree colleague has as much right to book the time off as any parent."

The post sparked a lively debate on Mumsnet, with more than 800 people commenting.

One person suggested a "rota system of sorts" would be a good way to ensure that holiday allocation in an office was fair, while another agreed, "Things like Christmas should be shared equally, if you don't have one Christmas off you can have the next instead etc.

"Otherwise you get the individual who books all the 'best' days off at the start of the year and screw anyone else who can't make plans that early."

Someone else wrote: "Being a parent is my choice, it’s not for that choice to impact on other people's ability to take annual leave.

"If you have to work holidays you have to find childcare, just the way it is."

And another person said that while they were initially happy to allow parents to take the time off they wanted, they felt as though those with children had started taking advantage.

"I have always gone out of my (way) to allow colleagues with kids to have Christmas etc – but to be honest it is starting to annoy me," they wrote.

"With working from home I now find parents seem to believe they have an automatic right to disappear for the afternoon school run… If I said I am going for a non negotiable walk for half an hour at 3pm every day I would quickly be told I am required to attend meetings.

"I do think work should be flexible, but I think some parents expect far too much.

"Having children is a choice and a privilege. I shouldn’t have to work harder and longer to allow other people time off to enjoy family life simply because I don’t have children."

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