I've recently started as a project engineering for a global company. Through various discussions with line managers, colleagues etc. it's been recommended to me that I should propose studying for an MSc on a part-time basis - something which I have wanted to do for a while and is pretty key for my future career.
I floated the idea with HR who then proposed it to the plant manager. To my delight it was approved in principle. I explained the requirements for time off, as it is a day-release course, and we have come to an agreement that I would work the hours missed throughout the year so that no work hours are lost overall - all great up to now.
This is where it gets tricky - naturally I will required time off for revision around the 2 exam periods but the system proposed above, I feel, will not work, as the time which I have off will massively start to stack up and I will inevitably end up working untenable hours. I must add that, despite my work ethic, everybody needs regular time off for recuperation and the prospect of working 14+ days on the trot is not good.
HR suggested that I take the time as unpaid leave, but unfortunately owing to my immediate financial situation/future, I cannot afford to take the time off - it's something which would hugely take from my concentration on studies and my results would ultimately suffer.
I have tried to argue the point that the course is mutually beneficial to an extent, mainly because of the work-based dissertation, but I am thus far unable to find any middle ground and I am feeling completely backed in to a corner, to the point where it's putting me off even starting the course.
I have refrained from bringing up using holiday for the time off - I have been advised by other members of staff, who are experienced with HSE/EU directives etc., that I should NOT be using holiday for something like this and HR should not even be suggesting this option - frankly taking hard-earned time off work just sit in a room and look at a book is not a holiday.
Can you wise folk offer me any advice? Am I being unreasonable in my requests?