The first of September is a special day for parents whose children attend school or kindergarten. Those who want to be near their children on this day and accompany them to school, often do not know what free time belongs to them: do they have to take holidays, birthdays, unpaid days? Indrė Mažeikaitė, a lawyer at the TGS Baltic law firm, reminds that on the occasion of the beginning of the school year, employees have the right to ask for a day or half day off.
“Employees on September 1 can ask the employer to use mother’s day or father’s day, as well as receive half a day off if they are not entitled to mother’s and father’s days. Employees can also ask the employer to grant accrued annual leave or receive unpaid time off from work,” the lawyer reminds.
According to her, the employee’s request for a free day or half day must be submitted according to the procedure established by the employer, which is usually established in the rules of the work procedure. As the lawyer notes, parents usually decide to use mother’s or father’s day for this day, employers can also request it, but it cannot be an obligation to use this day for the first day of the school year.
The lawyer reminds that the right to mother’s and father’s days is granted to employees who meet certain criteria. “Employees raising one child under the age of 12 are granted 1 additional day of rest in 3 months. Employees raising a disabled child under 18 or 2 children under 12 are granted 1 additional day of rest per month. Well, those who raise 3 or more children under the age of 12 or 2 children under the age of 12, when one or both children are disabled, have the right to take 2 additional days off per month”, explains I. Mažeikaitė.
According to her, employees are paid the average salary of an employee for Mother’s and Father’s days.
It is true that even those employees who do not have mother’s day or father’s day, but who are raising a child under the age of 14 and who is studying according to pre-school education, primary education or basic education programs, can ask the employer to grant at least half of the employee’s working day free time on September 1 d., paying the employee’s average wage for this day.
It is important to define the procedure for granting days off
“In order for the company to function smoothly and for employees to have a clear mechanism for granting days off on the first of September and other days, employers should define the principles and procedure for granting days off in internal documents (for example, work order rules),” reminds I. Mazeikaitė.
According to her, the work procedure rules should provide for how long in advance the employee must submit a request for a day off or vacation, in what form the employee’s request must be submitted, to whom such a request must be submitted, in what order the employer approves the employee’s days off and how to inform about it , for example, email way, in writing.
The lawyer emphasizes that Article 28 of the Labor Code establishes that the employer must take measures to help the employee fulfill his family obligations. Therefore, even if the employee has used up his mother’s or father’s day, the employer must consider giving the employee an unpaid day off or giving him the opportunity to use the accumulated annual leave, in order to spend the first of September with the child.
It is true that today more and more companies include in their benefits package such an advantage as a free half-day on the first of September for all employees of the company who raise children under the age of 18, so that they can spend this holiday together with their offspring. However, the lawyer reminds: “Such benefits should be established in the employer’s internal document, for example, in the rules of the work procedure, and the employees should be familiar with them,” TGS Baltic lawyer I. Mažeikaitė shares useful information.