My company is having a summer party at our corporate office which is 49.6 miles away from the office I work in. This is happening on a Friday, when I have already scheduled the Monday off because I am going out of the country that weekend. This trip has been scheduled since before the date of the party was announced.
My normal work hours end at either 4:00 or 4:30 (flexible time), and I live close by so I'm usually home 15 minutes later. The bus that will take people to and from our office to the party is scheduled to leave at 5:30, and is leaving an area well known for traffic at that time, especially on a summer Friday.
Because of this, I've offered to work on the Friday (no one else will be) and have been told that I cannot (they're using this time to do some maintenance). I cannot go to the party because it will interfere with plans I've made outside of my normal working hours that were scheduled before the party was announced (much less the travel arrangements).
I've now been forced to take the time off as paid leave since I cannot attend the party. I have a couple questions about this:
- Is this typical in the UK?
- If not, what course of action would people recommend?