While hundreds of families are mourning the loss of loved ones who died in the Germanwings air crash in the French Alps, hundreds of over-emotional Brits have been calling into work asking for compassionate leave due to a member of a boy band leaving.
The heartbroken workers are convinced they are too distressed to turn up for work after the 22-year-old walked away from the pop band One Direction yesterday, the Express reports.
Business advice providers Peninsula said its employer advice service had received 220 calls from companies asking what to do after receiving the requests from staff.
The Manchester-based firm said they were advising bosses to refuse the request, unless they are in fact related to the star.
Alan Price, an employment law director at the firm, said “While I sympathise with One Direction fans, I hardly think this qualified as compassionate leave.”
“It’s a story you could not make up but I don’t think that Zayn Malik’s departure qualifies for compassionate leave and this is the advice we have had to give to employers,” he added.
“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.”
The company said it started receiving calls from confused firms at 1830 last night until 0930 this morning, although it said it is not the first time there has been a spike in calls due to music-fan related hysteria.
Back in 1996 it was not only school girls who were left sobbing when chart toppers Take That announced they were breaking up but staff, who also demanded compassionate leave to deal with the trauma.
Still, fans of Top Gear are made of sterner stuff, Mr Price revealed.
“It’s worth noting that the dismissal of Jeremy Clarkson has not led to calls,” he said.
The company is still continuing to promote its services, ‘ID related or otherwise’ to clients in light of the recent surge in publicity.