If you want to be taken seriously as a professional, here is something you should never, ever do: ask for time off work to grieve because a member has left your favourite boy band.

That is apparently what’s happening right now, according to the Manchester Evening News, which reports that employment law experts have fielded more than 200 regarding employees asking for compassionate leave because Zayn Malik quit One Direction.

If you’re not familiar with Zayn Malik, this is him:


“Between 6pm last night and 9.30am this morning Manchester-based Peninsula received 220 calls to its Employer Advice Service regarding Zayn Malik,” says the news outlet.

The singer announced yesterday that he had left the boy band, after which fans lost their minds, and their dignity.

Alan Price, employment law director, told the Evening News:

    “While I sympathize 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.

    “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.”

It’s not the first time this has happened either.

Price went on to say:

    “Strangely, this situation is not unusual, as when Take That split in 1996 there was a spike in calls from bosses concerned that employees were requesting time off, and while I sympathize to a point, you have to ask yourself whether it’s more of an obsession and whether time off is really needed.

    “If you have employees who request time off then give them the option of holiday leave, this will no doubt make the individual reappraise the situation, chances are they will decline the offer; or if they do take time off, they will not wish to use up all of their entitlement.”

Frenzied fan behaviour has been around since Franz Liszt used to toss his gloves into swooning crowds, and probably since before that, and it’s difficult to understand. But, while this should go without saying, it apparently doesn’t: if you are old enough to have a job, you are old enough to behave like an adult, and going to pieces because someone leaves your favourite band is not adult behaviour.

Don’t do this.