How do I get my boss to give me a day off on Christmas?

Friday December 21 2018

Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka

Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka  

By Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka

My appointment letter says we work five days a week, on public holidays, and whenever we are asked to. This means I have to work on Christmas and New Year’s Day. These two and Easter are our special family days and a reunion of sorts. No one in the family misses it. It has been part of the tradition in my family for generations. I do not want to lose my job but treasure Christmas and New Year as a practising Christian and one who respects my family tradition.
What should I do? Grace

Dear Grace,
Christmas, New Year’s Day and Easter are sacred to most Christians which means most of your co-workers may ask for the same holidays and cause undue hardship for the employer if you all take these days off.

The nature of the job also matters. For example, media companies and hospitals are required to work seven days a week, regardless of public holidays. The duty roster for public holidays in such companies is discussed ahead of time and shared with all the concerned parties and in most cases, it is rotational, meaning if you worked this Christmas, there will have to be a different team on the Easter shift.
If the duty roster for the public holidays is spontaneous in your company, you could have a discussion with your supervisor to have this implemented, which gives ample planning time for all the concerned employees.

One of the attributes all employees need to have is being able to adapt to change. In this current economy, where most employees are moving from one job to another, one of the challenges that come with it is the inability to handle new situations. Thus, you should maintain a positive attitude and recognise that change is constant.

Alice Nankya L. Nsibuka
HR business partner
NMG - Uganda
[email protected]