Driver's annual leave

GingerWill

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Joined
14 Feb 2020
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10
Location
Kent
Hi guys, is it a common practice for TOC's to block book your annual leave? Do they tell you when your leave is?
 
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martin2345uk

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21 Sep 2011
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Essex
I believe it very common yes. I believe you get some floating days to choose yourself but the majority is rostered, at least at my FOC
 

scrapy

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15 Dec 2008
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Yes, you will usually have 4 or 5 weeks allocated plus floating days that can be applied for, but there will be arrangements to allow unpaid leave, mutual swaps or to move into empty slots. These will vary from TOC to TOC and sometimes depot to depot. It's best to be specific about which TOC and depot you are interested in as somebody may be able to give a more accurate answer.
 

Skies2rail

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5 Jul 2020
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London
I think it's pretty understandable considering the complexity of the operation to be honest... There are many amazing bonuses to work for the railway so I'd take it on the chin especially as these positions are highly sought after! :E
 

Greene4181

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Joined
22 Nov 2018
Messages
25
Hi pal. I've pretty much explained it to you in great depth via DM. It will be the norm regardless of what TOC/FOC you apply for as they have to maintain a minimum number of drivers for the service and also what the Rest Day Work agreement is with the Union etc. If you feel its gonna be a deal breaker you have to consider if its gonna be the job for you. I think you're focusing too much on this as a negative as like Skies2Rails states there are so many positives to the job and I've never felt like I don't get enough time off.
 
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jamesst

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4 May 2011
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768
Location
Merseyside
Yep, we get 4 weeks allocated leave plus 11 lieu days to take as we want (depending on cover).
The allocated leave isn't as bad as some to think it sounds though, at my TOC at least a lot of drivers swap allocated weeks amongst themselves to get the weeks they want.
 

TeaTrain

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13 Aug 2014
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442
It is extremely normal for you to be allocated ‘blocks’ where your Annual Leave is. As others have said it is not that bad and because you know quite fat in advance you can work out with other drivers swaps. I don’t think there is an issue with the amount of time off. By the time you factor in AL, days off and working a 4 day week your working far less than most other jobs.

I think the AL is generous and not really a negative at all. You just need to plan. It would be a very very silly mistake in my opinion if this decided whether you continue/ start with the role or not. But it’s just that. An opinion. Do what you feel is right for you and your circumstances.
 

GingerWill

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Joined
14 Feb 2020
Messages
10
Location
Kent
Hi pal. I've pretty much explain it to you in great depth via DM. It will be the norm regardless of what TOC/FOC you apply for as they have to maintain a minimum number of drivers for the service and also the what the Rest Day Work agreement is with the Union etc. If you feel its gonna be a deal breaker you have to consider if its gonna be the job for you. I think you're focusing too much on this as a negative as like Skies2Rails states there are so many positives to the job and I've never felt like I don't get enough time off.
You've been super helpful mate, really appreciate it, was just seeing if this was common practice
 

Dieseldriver

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9 Apr 2012
Messages
750
Yes it’s common practice, I’d be surprised if there was any TOC/FOC where this wasn’t the case. It’s really not a problem, as an example you could have one week spring, two weeks summer, one week winter allocated to you on a leave roster. You can do mutual swaps with other Drivers or even swap into a vacant position if available. You also get X amount of ad hoc days to use when you decide, not guaranteed to be granted an ad hoc day though as it’s subject to how much coverage they have, planning in advance is key.
A point I should add, this job impacts on your private life, sometimes quite dramatically, it’s part of the reason it’s paid well. Shifts are all over the place and when you’re spare, depending on what company you’re at you may not know exactly what time you’re working until a couple of days beforehand.
If rostered leave is something you consider to be an issue, you should also consider the other negatives and weigh them up against the positives to decide whether this is really a career you want to persue.
 

whoosh

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3 Sep 2008
Messages
917
Put it this way, I've been a driver for heading towards 20 years, and I've always had at least a week off in the summer holidays - either my two week summer 'annual leave weeks' block has been in the summer holidays already, or I've swapped the annual leave summer block with someone else, or I've strung 'ad-hoc annual leave days' together.

At most TOCs 'annual leave weeks' will be a week early Winter, a week Spring, two weeks (as a block taken together) in Summer, and a week late Winter. The annual leave year runs January to December. Each year you get a different block of leave but you work around a pre-planned pattern to it, so you end up after a few years having had every block.
At my TOC you can float or convert a single one week 'annual leave week' into ad-hoc days. You can't convert any of the two week summer block.

That's how most TOCs work.
**However**
The ex-Great Eastern part of Greater Anglia, and also Crossrail, have their annual leave weeks as part of their base roster. They work eight weeks on and two weeks off. They don't have quite as many rest days as they should in the eight weeks - the missing ones are saved up, and along with leave, make up the two weeks off.
People can swap their two weeks off amongst themselves to suit.
 

GB

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I work for a FOC and rostered leave is issued on the holiday roster. However you can swap with other people or change to unused weeks. I have heard some places have the leave rostered into the working roster but I imagine you can still change/swap if needed.
 

GingerWill

Member
Joined
14 Feb 2020
Messages
10
Location
Kent
Yes it’s common practice, I’d be surprised if there was any TOC/FOC where this wasn’t the case. It’s really not a problem, as an example you could have one week spring, two weeks summer, one week winter allocated to you on a leave roster. You can do mutual swaps with other Drivers or even swap into a vacant position if available. You also get X amount of ad hoc days to use when you decide, not guaranteed to be granted an ad hoc day though as it’s subject to how much coverage they have, planning in advance is key.
A point I should add, this job impacts on your private life, sometimes quite dramatically, it’s part of the reason it’s paid well. Shifts are all over the place and when you’re spare, depending on what company you’re at you may not know exactly what time you’re working until a couple of days beforehand.
If rostered leave is something you consider to be an issue, you should also consider the other negatives and weigh them up against the positives to decide whether this is really a career you want to persue.
Appreciate the information mate
 

Greene4181

Member
Joined
22 Nov 2018
Messages
25
You've been super helpful mate, really appreciate it, was just seeing if this was common practice
I wouldn't want you to miss out on such a great opportunity by focusing too much on this especially as you've done the hardest part which is getting the job in the first place. As myself and some others here have stated there are ways around it to make it work for you and for others who are also looking to get the time off they want. The block leave is not so much set in stone that you cant move to vacant periods or swap with someone or add on some ad-hoc days to a long weekend etc
 

tfin25

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30 Jan 2017
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19
Would the additional "ad-hoc" days just be covered by drivers that are rostered spare?
 

craigybagel

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25 Oct 2012
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Would the additional "ad-hoc" days just be covered by drivers that are rostered spare?
Yes - or failing that, by cross depot cover (spare drivers at another depot who sign the routes involved) or rest day workers depending on what agreements the TOC in question has.

At the end of the day, you don't get a salary as good as what train drivers get without some sacrifices. But the advantages in this job far outweigh the disadvantages.
 

T-Karmel

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20 Mar 2010
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235
Location
London
I’d be surprised if there was any TOC/FOC where this wasn’t the case.
As far as I know, HEX was (and possibly still is) the one (and the only?) that doesn't have rostered holidays. You just book whatever day you want and it gets approved as long as there's still space for holiday to be booked on that day. I don't think it changed after drivers were transferred to GWR.
 

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