Last year the employees were told by the management that they needed to save 3 days holiday for the period between christmas and the new year, when we would be closed. In october of that year, they were informed that due to a business need, we would have to open, therefore we would need them to work. They all received the 3 days back and were allowed to carry them forward if they could not fit them in. This was accepted by the employees no problem.
Due to the fact that business was not as expected, it was decided by the management that we would definately be closing this year and once again employees were asked to save 3 days holiday.
Guess what! It was announced yesterday by the management that due to the company obtaining a new contract temporarily, we would need them to work this year. As you can imagine they are extremely unhappy and many have booked to go away and also were looking forward to spending time with their families. There are only a handful who wish to work and these have asked for some enhancement.
We have nothing in our contract regarding the chrismas period (we were advised not to put anything in as it would become binding).
Can anyone advise on this situation, as I am stuck in the middle and the management are saying that this is a genuine business need and they are only asking the employees to work what they should be doing anyway. These are not bank holidays and therefore should not need to offer some enhancment.
What we have is a lot of disgruntled employees who don’t want to work.
Going forward, is it advisable to put something in the contracts regarding the christmas period? I think that the management have learned their lesson and it will be planned better next year.