TIME OFF (B1-B2 Lesson)

2. Reading

a. We asked three workers about their work schedules and time off work.

  • Read the texts. Who do you think has the best working life, and why?


I work for a bank, so I usually get all the big public holidays, bank holidays, and other holiday days that I can take at any time. Usually I go away in October or November, when it’s cheaper to travel. One year, I had to work over New Year, but they gave me an extra 2 days’ holiday the next summer, so it wasn’t too bad!

The downside of my job is I don’t get a lot of flexibility about my hours. I start at 8.30, I finish when the last meeting is done, but never before 4.30. I know people who can take the afternoon off to go swimming, and I wish I could do that sometimes.


My schedule is different every week, so it’s sometimes hard to plan. If I want to take a big block of days off, I need to get the bosses to ‘OK’ it a long time in advance, so planning a 2-week holiday with my family takes a lot of organisation.

What I do like is that if I have to work a lot of overtime, I get extra hours and days to take off, so there are times when I get a long weekend, 3 or 4 days in a row. So if I’m having a really tiring week, I know that soon I’ll get the chance to relax at home.


I work for myself. I start work when I decide, and stop when I need to. When the weather’s nice, I can just drop everything and go out on my bike.

Of course, if there’s a big project, I have to work at it until I finish, or I don’t get paid.

Recently I got stressed and sick, and that made me think. In my last job, if I had a cold, I could call the boss, go to the doctor, get a bit of paper, and get my money at the end of the month. Not now! I just have to keep working, even if I’m like a zombie.

b. Which of our three interviewees…

  • (i) works flexible hours?
  • (ii) has to ask permission to use their annual leave?
  • (iii) can’t take a sick day even if they get a sick note?
  • (iv) got time off in lieu after working during a public holiday?
  • (v) often accrues time off by working extra hours?

c. Do exercise 2c from the worksheet.

The photos on this page are from Christina Morillo, Mikhail Nilov, and Miriam Alonso, all via Pexels.

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