I finally received some formal written confirmation of my time off from work yesterday. Given that my leave was all agreed some time at the beginning of October, that's quite some lag.... and the letter has only arrived now because of some fairly extensive chasing and badgering on my part. Quite why this would surprise me, I don't know, as I should know better than to expect anything different. I'm effectively leaving the business in less than a month, and yet no plans have been made to replace me and none of my customers have yet been formally notified of my departure (and until they've put in place a 'plan b' nor do I imagine that they will be).
Of course, HR being the wonderful, efficient department that we all know and love, the letter still only arrived after the following conversation:
HR drone: "According to my calculations, your 26 weeks unpaid leave finishes a week earlier than you have submitted".
Me: "OK, well given that you've had three months to look at this and you've only just noticed that, I'm not changing my plans. We have two choices: either I have 27 weeks unpaid leave, or I take an extra week out of next year's holiday allowance and you start paying me a week earlier"
HR drone: "Discretionary unpaid leave is to a maximum of 26 weeks."
Me: "Well, that's decided then, isn't it."
The letter duly arrived the next day, and although it confirms the dates I will be away - which is something, I suppose - it makes no mention of what's going to happen to my pension, bonus and to any possible salary increase which might happen whilst I'm away. Why not? Well, in a nutshell, it's because they're incompetent and they have no idea. I'm also pretty sure that, like all good HR departments, they don't really give a shit.
What I especially liked was the sign off line in the letter:
"Your discretionary unpaid leave ends on 20th August 2010 and will be followed by three weeks holiday taken from your 2010/11 leave allowance, ending on Friday 10th September. If you do not report for work on Monday 13th September, we will commence disciplinary proceedings against you."
I haven't left yet, but I'm looking forward to coming back to work already.