One of our employees, who does not have any annual leave available, has applied for 5 weeks of unpaid leave to run for state parliament. While we understand we do have the option to deny an unpaid leave request, what is a valid reason to do so?
Perhaps a conflict of interest?
It is our concern that in running for parliament our employees will be in a position to make strong public statements in the mass media and in social media that may not align with our organisation’s purpose and values. Is this a valid reason?
It is unlikely you could rely on a conflict of interest. The employee does not have a right to unpaid annual leave, and taking that amount of time away from work is likely to impact your business significantly. This is a stronger point to focus on when rejecting the request.
Find out more about all leave entitlements in chapter I3 Industrial Instruments in the Health & Safety Handbook.