Should employees get ‘wedding leave’?

After a loved one pops the big question, the next big question is popped to employers: ‘I’m getting married! Can I have some time off work?’

Should employees be allowed extra paid time off to attend hens, bachelor parties, bridal showers, weddings, or a honeymoon?

In Spain, for example, employees are entitled to 15 days of leave when they tie the knot. In France, employees receive a minimum of four days paid ‘marriage leave’. However, in Australia, the law does not provide employees with a statutory right to time off because they are getting married or going on a honeymoon.

Senior Employment Relations Adviser Gabrielle O’Brien from workplace specialist firm Employsure says, “Under the Fair Work Act, there is no obligation to pay employees when they are off work to attend such events. Most employers would ask their employees to take these days as annual leave.

Some might allow staff to take unpaid time off, but that would be up to the employer,” she said.

O’Brien adds that not all employers will have the same policy: “For life events such as weddings, religious ceremonies, school sports days, graduation ceremonies and children’s birthday parties it is up to the discretion of the employer and a sign of goodwill towards the employee whether to grant time off with pay.”

“Of course, you can expect some grumbling if you don’t allow an employee time off for certain social one-off occasions, especially if they have given you plenty of notice.”

There are obvious benefits for employers and business owners to be flexible, “It is good practice to offer flexible working arrangements. Your business is more likely to hold on to employees, see better productivity and job satisfaction, and reduce absenteeism. Your employees can potentially find a better balance between work and their personal lives for key events.”

However, O’Brien says employees should plan thoughtfully: “If you’re using annual leave days for things like your bridal shower or bachelorette party, or have other travel plans between now and your wedding day, talk to your boss about taking a combination of paid days off and time without pay.”

“While most bosses and managers will be happy to give you your requested days of for such a special occasion, do your best to give them as much advance notice as you can, providing them an opportunity to arrange staffing or schedules if they need to.”

Source: Employsure

Featured Image: Gabrielle O’Brien – Employsure Senior Employment Relations Adviser

Image courtesy of Employsure

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