Zayn Malik’s announcement of his split from One Direction didn’t just leave fans heart-broken, it left hundreds of workers unable to work.
A reported 480 people in the UK contacted their Employer Advice Service about workers requesting compassionate leave after the announcement was made on 25 March.
Alan Price, employment law director at Peninsula, believes that this instance would be an abuse of compassionate leave. He says:
“If employees feel strongly about the issue then request that they take days off as a holiday, but compassionate leave is what you allow if a close relative dies, unless the employer is unaware of family ties with Zayn Malik then I hardly think that this qualifies. Abusing compassionate leave is inconsiderate to fellow colleagues who may genuinely need the time off.”
Employment Law firm Peninsula have received over 480 calls since last Wednesday to its helpline from employers seeking advice about their staff requesting compassionate leave. This is not ‘unusual’ as companies saw a spike in calls from employers concerned over employees taking time off in 1996 when Take That split.
Mr Price said:
“In terms of famous celebrities and their impact on employees, Zayn Malik has to go down as a person that has caused the most upset. Social media has certainly been a factor in this, with employees responding with their thoughts and feelings. The reaction is certainly more significant than when Take That split up or when Robbie Williams left the group.”
“It’s worth noting that the dismissal of Jeremy Clarkson has not led to calls.”