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Can I ask for time off to go to see my kid in the school Christmas play?
There is no statutory legal right to have time off for this kind of occasion, but that doesn't mean that you can't ask. Do it politely though, and think about how you might improve the chances of your request being granted. Most bosses allow their workers some leeway at Christmas, but a small minority lack the Christmas spirit.
Trade unions are campaigning to give their members more control over their hours and patterns of work, as it is a proven trigger for the improvements to staff well-being and independence that significantly boost work performance and productivity.