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Annual leave entitlement

 
#1 Annual leave entitlement
07/05/2008 14:01

BOPper

I am curious as to what the market norm is for annual leave entitlements.

PA give us 23 days annual leave, with an additional day, as a one-off thank you, after ten years service.

Are other consultancies similarly parsimonious?

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#2 RE: Annual leave entitlement
07/05/2008 14:28

anon to BOPper (#1)

Only thing I will miss about ACN is the 30 day leave

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#3 RE: Annual leave entitlement
07/05/2008 17:57

joker@poker.com to BOPper (#1)

I work at PA and for me the derisory 23 day limit is very disappointing, not least as I haven't even had a day off sick in 3 years and there's no recognition for that either.

What compounds the leave issue even more is that PA nominate 3-4 days at Xmas if you can't bill a client for your time. Each practice seems to have a different arbitrary approach - with some insisting that you come into work to prove you're working, others allowing staff to work from home off fees, and in my own case unless you can bill the client then you're looking at 20 days leave for the rest of the year.

Nearly all of PA's competitors offer more annual leave - and when you compare 23 days for a job that often requires long hours, weeks away from home against industry averages of 27/28 days leave or 30+ in the public sector you start to realise just how out of line PA is.

In fairness, PA HR will quite rightly tell you that you can buy another 3 or 4 days leave - but you then have to compare your reduced income for 27/28 days leave against what you'd earn somewhere where 28 days was standard.

PA seems to have a very old fashioned attitude to work / life balance - and hasn't really adapted to the changing expectations of consultants - particularly younger ones or those seeking to maintain a family life.

Despite really liking the people I work with, the lack of any work / life balance is one of the key reasons I want to leave - after 3 years at PA I now earn less and get less time off than most of my friends / peers in Industry despite working a lot harder.

Despite being told PA offers a competitive package (of which leave entitlement is one element,) my direct comparisons against my friends would suggest that whatever data PA use for benchmarking, it's very out of date.

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#4 RE: Annual leave entitlement
07/05/2008 21:04

Sugardaddy to joker@poker.com (#3)

Why does anyone work at PA?

This is a serious question - virtually every thread on this site slags PA off. Is it a fair reflection of the warts n all?

Serious, considered answers please

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#5 RE: Annual leave entitlement
08/05/2008 11:22

ATK to Sugardaddy (#4)

ATK only offer 20 days!

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#6 RE: Annual leave entitlement
08/05/2008 14:36

Blue Boy to ATK (#5)

IBM is 25 days + 1 incremental day for every five years of continual service.

I've been with them 11 years now, and am up to 27 days per annum.

Don't see how people could put up with 20 or 23 days - that really is pants

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#7 RE: Annual leave entitlement
08/05/2008 15:21

Teecher to Blue Boy (#6)

I work for a school and get 5 months off. Plus I finish at 3.15pm every day. Beat that!

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#8 RE: Annual leave entitlement
08/05/2008 15:37

just a bunch of whinging clowns to Sugardaddy (#4)

PA's not perfect but I actually think it is better than the average for work life balance. Flexible working is certainly possible - under terms to be negotiated with your practice.

Those who thrive at PA are those who are self-starters and will independently build their brand within and outside the firm.

What you hear from crybabies on this forum is about how "PA" isn't giving them the jobs they want.

Like any other consulting firm, "PA" is just a bunch of people and it's up to everyone to make things happen.

Finally, PA's remuneration policy is clearly set out and does, in the long term, reward above average for above average performance. As a mixed firm (management and IT consulting) direct comparisons to MBB for example are spurious. However, whenever I've spoken to headhunters about potential opportunities elsewhere in consulting, it has usually become clear pretty quickly that my package is top-end of the market.

Conclusion: if you don't like PA, leave, just don't moan about it.

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#9 RE: Annual leave entitlement
08/05/2008 16:08

anon to just a bunch of whinging clowns (#8)

If you don't like PA then leave.....as lots of people are doing.

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#10 RE: Annual leave entitlement
08/05/2008 22:41

Sugardaddy to anon (#9)

While no one want to hear from just a bunch of whinging clowns, lets not have any brainwashed Stepford HR police either.

Serious, considered answers to the question please

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#11 RE: Annual leave entitlement
08/05/2008 22:48

ted to BOPper (#1)

I work for Atos Origin and we get 25 days. After a cple of years we get an additional day off.

Furthermore, as part of our Flexible benefit option, we are allowed to purchase or sell five additional annual leave days. It's a pretty good offer.

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#12 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 00:51

anon to ted (#11)

Deloitte graduates get 26 days..plus an option to purchase an additional 5 days...

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#13 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 01:19

Pi** off to Teecher (#7)

Can I just reply to the Teacher who is showing off about her 5 months off:

1) Why are you waiting your time and mine on a MC forum

2) At least we dont have to wipe kids noses all day for 30 k a yr!

3) And basically just p*ss off bk to the class room, you could not cope in the big bad world of business!

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#14 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 02:49

BT John to Pi** off (#13)

I'm on the Professional Services grad scheme at BT. We get 27 days, and can work at home for a day or so a week if we want to.

I'd change this to work at a 'proper' consultancy in a couple of years, but PA doesn't sound too appealing from reading this forum

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#15 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 03:00

PA-er to BT John (#14)

Agree with the post above which asks the clowns to stop moaning and start doing something about things which they see as problem.

Its not like PA changed their Holiday/Salary policy mid-year. When you joined you pretty well knew what the deal was - If it wasnt good enough, you should have either negotiated better or walked away. They didnt put a gun to your head to join, and still dont have one - So leave. It will be better for you and for PA. Same for work/life balance - They are pretty clear in their interview that you are expected to work away from home, if the project requires, so I dont see how you can blame them for that.

I am not saying PA is the best company to work for but I will say that they have some fantastic people and projects and I have enjoyed my 2 years here and learnt much, along with meeting some nice people - Yes, I have stayed away from home for 50% of the time, but I knew it might be a possibility when I signed up.

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#16 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 07:58

pobulous to PA-er (#15)

PA do at least let you buy 7 days (sacrificing only the salary you would've earned on those days...which is no big deal) to add to your 23, so if your a/l is any less than 30 days, it's by choice... Other companies might give more than 23 as standard, but don't give the option to bump it up to 30. I know which I prefer.

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#17 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 09:18

random to PA-er (#15)

Hello all - what a lively debate we have on our hands! This thread is quite interesting as annual leave came up in a chat with a workmate on Tuesday - I'm also at PA.

I agree with "just a bunch of whingers" in that some of the whinging on here is out of order. My general impression (having had a life before PA) is that for the most part PA tries quite hard to get it right, and if you really don't like it then you really should leave, or at least stop whinging about PA on here as it creates a distorted view of what for the most part seems to be a company of fairly satisfied people. In my view, a lot of the people whinging haven't for the most part got enough experience outside PA to make a balanced comparison.

Where I disagree with "just a bunch of whingers" however, is on the scope for 'negotiating' flexible working. In my experience this has a lot less to do with the Practice and a lot more to do with the types of jobs won and what's seen as 'normal' by people in the practice.

In my own case, although I have successfully worked flexibly in previous roles, my current client requires me to be around in person most Friday's (I'm on a project quite some distance from home) with the result that there's limited scope for flexible working. I think you have to "roll" with this type of limitation though because to some extent it's what consulting is about - being at the beck and call of the client. I also think that the ability to negotiate that flexibility (or buy extra leave) is probably more limited for our junior staff depending on their income or work / negotiating experience - it can be quite daunting being the one to speak up and suggest flexible working in any organisation, more so when most of your colleagues appear to be happy with the status quo.

Although I personally would like more leave (and have bought extra,) that's not always an option for everyone. I think the strength of consulting (and more so at PA) is the great mix of skills and experience you get on most assignment teams. Not everyone wants to work long hours - we also need a mix of attitudes and personalities on our teams to avoid group think. So by way of achieving a balance in our teams I would have to agree that more holiday is probably better than less, and as 'joker poker' says you need to factor in the cost of buying leave against what you'd earn elsewhere for a role that carries more leave as standard.

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#18 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 10:57

crabby to random (#17)

It's easy to lose perspective when comparing with a peer group - small differences are magnified in a way which friends in other occupations would find hard to take seriously - if a person can't afford to buy a few days' leave on a consultant's salary, a serious case of financial dyslexia needs to be diagnosed.

If you're happy where you are, a couple of days either way will make little difference.

If you're unhappy where you are, a couple of days either way will make little difference.

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#19 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 12:01

PA person to crabby (#18)

It’s too lazy and easy to say: if you don’t like something about PA, then leave. This sort of “screw you” attitude is a good part of the reason why staff turnover is so high, and morale across practices in the UK is so low.

There are a lot of things fundamentally wrong with how PA treats its staff:

- PA artificially inflate your annual bonus figure, by stating it gross of employer’s National Insurance

- The annual scoring system is opaque – I know of only two people who have disputed their scores and both of them had to leave afterwards

- Our work / life policy is non-existent. Few partners will stipulate to a client that it is unreasonable for staff to travel in their personal time at weekends to get to and from assignments

- Our holiday allowance is miserly, and well below market norms, as is evidenced above. Its simply not good enough to say that you can buy a few days extra holiday by taking a pay cut.

- Our maternity policy is absolutely disgraceful. How can we expect to retain female staff, if we give them just above the bare minimum legal requirements?

- We treat anyone who has a personal crisis appallingly. Ask any colleague who has gone through a divorce, or had to take time off to deal with a sick relative, how the firm has treated them, and few will say that PA did them proud

As for those of you who might say “If its so bad, why don’t you leave?”, ask your friendly neighbourhood recruitment consultant, next time you speak to them, just how many PA people they have on their books, and the answer won’t surprise you. I’ve been trying to get out of PA to a competitor for over a year now and have been told by interviewers that my CV is too public sector focussed, and so I am stuck here hoping that one day our partners will finally sell decent quality private sector assignments, but I doubt it.

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#20 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 12:42

SMPer to PA person (#19)

"PA artificially inflate your annual bonus figure, by stating it gross of employer’s National Insurance "

you forgot that they also keep 1/3 of the bonus back in the "jam tomorrow" fund whereby out of a 30% / £20K bonus you'll be lucky to see actually see £8K / 12% net.

For a brief moment you think "wow, £20K", shortly after you think "this sucks, £8K is a crap bonus for a whole year of mental hours".

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#21 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 13:21

point of order to SMPer (#20)

it's not a third for deferred bonus - it's between 10-20% depending on rank, unless you are a partner. Deferred bonuses are a perfectly reasonable long term incentive.

The NI thing is stupid though.

...and yet again, people are complaining about "when will partners sell private sector jobs?" 1) 60% of our business is private sector so you can't be looking very hard 2) get stuck in to developing the sales.

ps: PA Person - if a recruiter can't get you an interview with one of our competitors you should find another one - plenty of PA people are well received in other firms

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#22 RE: Annual leave entitlement
09/05/2008 13:26

Not PA to point of order (#21)

What, as toilet cleaners?

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#23 PA bonus scheme
09/05/2008 13:36

Bonus boy to Not PA (#22)

I do find the double counting element in the whole bonus thing pretty awful.

I have been with PA now for just over four years, and so got my deferred bonus for 2004 paid to me in April of this year. The most irksome thing about it, is that it is listed as part of my total reward payments in my April 2005 and again my April 2008 statement.

Quite classy really – not only is the employers NI taken off before you even begin, and then 20% held back for three years, but they have the gall to pretend they pay it to you twice !!!

Does anyother consulting company operate such a deceitful bonus scheme? For that matter, do any of our competitors operate a deferred bonus scheme? Either you want to pay staff a bonus, or you don’t. Effectively it means that if you leave PA anytime before retirement, you will leave thousands and thousands of pounds in the partners’ pockets.

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#24 RE: PA bonus scheme
09/05/2008 14:19

it is badly communicated to Bonus boy (#23)

and your points are mostly fair - however in many instances if you leave you will receive the benefit from your restricted shares.

I think it is fair that there is deferred bonus (matched with restricted shares) as it does help to align long term interests of shareholder staff.

We could do a LOT better in terms of communicating the whole scheme though.

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#25 RE: PA bonus scheme
09/05/2008 14:57

anon to it is badly communicated (#24)

I work in professional services, in BTGS, we get 32.5 days leave however this does mean I spend an extra week snowboarding on my own as no-one else gets that much holiday! : (

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#26 RE: PA bonus scheme
09/05/2008 21:02

Bruce to anon (#25)

That the gross gross nature of the bonus is not made clear during the recruitment process is a disgrace and causes much unnecessary discontent and resentment when the penny drops later on.

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#27 RE: Annual leave entitlement
11/05/2008 18:16

Winvester to BOPper (#1)

A) The industry average is not 27/28 days. The median in the private sector is 22, and in professional services/consulting it is 25. BT has more because of its public sector and union heritage, and Accenture has more because it has to reconcile Europe-wide policies (also because the expectation is that you shouldn't be using all 30 days if you work in a consulting practice).

B) Are you seriously b*tching about 2 days leave? That is about half of one percent of your time and is far outweighed by the extra time off you get at Christmas and the vagaries of project and bench time over an average year. Unless you work in admin for PA, or have no concept of how consulting works, you should be worried if you have time to use your full vacation.

C) If it's that big an issue for you then just do things the Deloitte Consulting way and use sick leave to backfill your holiday.

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#28 RE: Annual leave entitlement
11/05/2008 19:46

kev to Winvester (#27)

Consultants are lazy ar*es aren't they?

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#29 RE: Annual leave entitlement (at winvester)
12/05/2008 09:58

Jo to Winvester (#27)

"Are you seriously b*tching about 2 days leave? That is about half of one percent of your time and is far outweighed by the extra time off you get at Christmas"

One of the original posts suggests that there isn't any "extra time off" at Christmas.

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#30 RE: Annual leave entitlement (at winvester)
12/05/2008 12:45

PAer to Jo (#29)

You don't get any "extra time off" at christmas at PA - you get the nomal time off and are encouraged to use your annual leave allowance over that period

I think Winvester needs to get out more!

Either that or he/she could donate unwanted/unused leave to those that do have a life.

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#31 RE: Annual leave entitlement (at winvester)
12/05/2008 16:58

BOPper to PAer (#30)

In BOP, you are not just “encouraged” to use your leave over Christmas, you are obliged to do so. To be honest, the fact that PA give their staff somewhere in the region of 3 – 7 days fewer holidays less than other consultancies, is bad enough, but when its compounded with all the other petty “half-truths” like inflated bonuses, cruddy maternity leave, etc

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#32 RE: Annual leave entitlement
12/05/2008 17:22

anon to Winvester (#27)

"A) The industry average is not 27/28 days. The median in the private sector is 22"

What's the source for this?

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#33 RE: Annual leave entitlement
12/05/2008 22:22

KPMGer to anon (#32)

KPMG: 25 days with up to 5 additional days to buy or sell (i.e. you can take up to 30 or as few as 20).

My last company (small consultancy) was also 25 days (no buy/sell option). 23 days is pants. And subtracting employer NI contributions from your headline bonus is downright deceitful. The deferred bonus thing doesn't sound too good either.

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#34 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 09:23

Lawyer to KPMGer (#33)

I thought the legal minimum for full time employees was now 24 days...

http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/ruDetail?type=REGUPDATE&itemId=1079465007

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#35 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 09:32

BOPper to Lawyer (#34)

I remember the excitement on the 4th floor in 123 when this employment regulation was brought into force last year. It quickly transpired though that the new figure of 24 days legal minimum includes Bank Holidays.

Most reputable employers would use the legal minimum as a base and add Bank Holidays on top of that, but not PA

What a warm caring employer we have!!

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#36 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 09:39

proj to BOPper (#35)

I've been at PA for three years and I've yet to have a year where I haven't needed to carry over unused leave to the next year.

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#37 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 10:17

--- to proj (#36)

Hi proj, so are you saying that not only do you get a very tight holiday allowance, but also you're worked so hard that you don't even get to use all of it?

Just trying to understand your comment

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#38 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 11:42

Pa-er to --- (#37)

I don’t intend to answer on proj’s behalf, but my own experience of PA’s attitude to work-life balance isn’t good.

This weekend, for example, I spent most of it indoors working on a proposal for a private sector client (what do you think the chances are we will win that one boys and girls ??), while the previous one I spent in writing up a Case Study from my last assignment.

PA pride themselves on the developmental opportunities that they offer staff of all levels to get involved in business development, but what they fail to tell you is that the expectation is that you will spend your evenings and weekends doing this. And then our leaders wonder why we have such high staff attrition…

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#39 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 11:57

Work/life to Pa-er (#38)

That sounds absolutely rubbish. Working during all your free time on something you have no chance of winning? What a life you lead!

I think it has been said much earlier in this thread so we are starting to go round in circles, but to all you hard done by PAers, what are you still doing there? Im assuming your are clever people and whilst their reputation has been blown to shreds on this forum PA are still a pretty visible brand so your CV is going to be marketable. Move on!

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#40 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 12:26

proj to Work/life (#39)

I think what I'm saying is that I've just been too flat out with clients to take leave. I have one week's holiday booked for next week and this will be the first full week (other than Christmas) that I've taken for over a year. This isn't due to pressure from PA, there just hasn't been a good time to take leave from an assignment perspective.

I think PA gets a raw deal on this forum, all of the details regarding leave, bonus, salary and benefits are clearly stated in contract and offer letters. If you don't like them then don't sign the contract.

My main complaint with PA is regarding the conflict between utilisation (client work) and internal work. The utilisation target is 85% (up to and including PC grade) and if you're not hitting this then you're not going to get a high score at end of year. However, even if you achieve above target on utilisation and assignment reviews you still wont get a good end of year unless your internal work stacks up.

To get good reviews you therefore need to do a significant amount of internal work in your own time as there isn't really any meaningful provision for this in your utilisation target. This will be in addition to going the extra mile for the client and is further compounded by the fact that training (of which we have to undertake 5 days pa as one of our objectives) does not count toward utilisation.

Despite all of this I'm happy at PA. I like the people, I've had interesting assignments (mostly private sector) and when I've needed a bit of flexibility from, PA I've got it.

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#41 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 12:52

at last some sensible comment to proj (#40)

Well said Proj - PA is, rightly a demanding place, but I have also always found that there is flexibility when required.

Rewards for high achievers are good, particulary in years when company profitability is high.

I think there is a divergence between the expectations of the management consultants in PA and some of the IT people with service delivery backgrounds we have hired.

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#42 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 13:52

Ex-PA to at last some sensible comment (#41)

Let’s face facts here people – PA is just not a top notch consultancy.

They have a flimsy client list, they treat their people terribly, and your time there will appear as a blot on your CV.

I left last year to work in a far superior organisation, but it took a long time to find a good role. Having PA on my CV really was a black mark.

Speaking from personal experience, its not a place that I’d recommend anyone to work.

Oh, and I now get 26 days hols, and don’t need to work weekends

LOL

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#43 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 14:32

anon to BOPper (#1)

Right, so to summarise, the scores are as follows:

Vauxhall Conference

- PA Consulting 23 days

Premiership

IBM 25 days

Atos 25 days

KPMG 25 days

Deloitte 25 days

Champions League

BT 27 days

Accenture 30 days

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#44 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 14:44

zoinks to anon (#43)

so what league is accenture in?

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#45 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 14:48

anon to zoinks (#44)

EDS, or should I say HP, 25 days, plus can buy 5 more

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#46 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 15:14

Bas applicant to anon (#45)

How many days do EY offer?

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#47 RE: Annual leave entitlement
13/05/2008 20:45

tim to Bas applicant (#46)

People, people, people.

PA whingers: shut it, be more constructive

PA holier than thou leave if you don't like it-ers: shut it, there no smoke without fire

Why can't we all just love each other and get along?

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#48 RE: Annual leave entitlement
14/05/2008 10:24

Bob to tim (#47)

Tube Driver: 52 days.

World champions.

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#49 RE: Annual leave entitlement
14/05/2008 10:52

Paul to Bob (#48)

Come to the Middle East! With your public holidays a rather fine 42 days..........

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#50 RE: Annual leave entitlement
14/05/2008 11:12

PA-er to Paul (#49)

43 days ??

Not if you’re working for the PA office.

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#51 RE: Annual leave entitlement
14/05/2008 22:17

100 club to PA-er (#50)

Can this thread make it to 100 posts?

While clearly contributed by the lunatic fringe of PA, this is certainly more entertaining that the corporate blogs (snore)

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#52 RE: Annual leave entitlement
15/05/2008 01:23

anon to 100 club (#51)

Just to help us towards 100, I'll point out that all you brits have it ok. In australia 20 days is standard. I've never heard of anyone offering more, though some firms let you buy a few extra days.

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#53 RE: Annual leave entitlement
15/05/2008 21:18

skiver to anon (#52)

365 days, pal. On the dole. Better lifestyle than you guys. And I'm better read.

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