Question about unpaid leave

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 21st, 2022 1:05 pm
Jan 8, 2015
77 posts
Kitchener, ON

Question about unpaid leave

Hello all, so I just got my first job, and it is my first time working in canada.
I understand each company is different, and it is very hard to compare, but let's just say in general...
If I request 2-3 days of unpaid leave each month just because I want a break, am I asking too much?
10 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 9, 2007
15198 posts
Think of the Childre…
You missing out lots of details here. You contract or not?

Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 16, 2008
10297 posts
Union job or not? Break?? Not a valid reason.

This is your first job. It is too much to ask. May be ok if once a year, this is every month.
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2017
1819 posts
Don’t you have paid vacation for the job?
Jun 28, 2011
377 posts
IMO, I worked 15 years with 1 company, I had a lot of leverage there. I will not be able to request what you are looking to request in your first job. Again, depends on how needed you are in the company. I have seen non-accountable jobs may allow this where you are not critical to what your company delivers.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3820 posts
OP, yes, you are asking for too much.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 13, 2010
6974 posts
You want to take an extra 24-36 days off per year on top of your vacation and statutory holidays? There's an average of 22 working days per month in a M-F job. You're asking them to allow you to take an extra month to and extra month and two-thirds off.
Deal Guru
Oct 7, 2010
14085 posts
They tell op to go find himself another job.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 14, 2012
2428 posts
Montreal, QC
stevenleung0000 wrote: Hello all, so I just got my first job, and it is my first time working in canada.
I understand each company is different, and it is very hard to compare, but let's just say in general...
If I request 2-3 days of unpaid leave each month just because I want a break, am I asking too much?
Without knowing more about your position, I would say that you are asking "too much" even though it is "only" unpaid leave and it is "only" 2-3 days each month.

I'm not an employer and it has been a very long time since I had any hiring decision (I had hiring decision about/over 25 years ago for a technical/education position) but if someone said that to me during the interview or after I informed the candidate that I was interested in him/her, unless there was something very special about this person, I wouldn't hire that person or would retract the offer.

That being said, where I'm currently working, after I was offered the position, the company that I work for have a policy that vacations can't be taken during the first fiscal year (runs from June 1 to May 31) and on June 1, the employee gets the vacation that they accrued during the previous fiscal year at whatever the monthly vacation rate is. I had finished/left the job that I had on a Friday to work at this company on Monday and with the previous company, I didn't take any vacation and was planning on taking a vacation in January (paid or unpaid didn't make a difference to me). The hiring person mentioned that he would need to speak with the HR department and he got back to me the following day and informed me that it was okay so I gave my notice at the previous company and agreed to work at the new company.

The new company decided to let me use the current fiscal year's banked accrual vacation instead of telling me that my January vacation time off would be unpaid and then when the start of the fiscal year (June 1), they just deducted the amount of vacation days that I took in January. Also, in January when I took my vacation, I had already accrued enough vacation days in "my vacation bank" so it wasn't like after I taking the vacation, I would owe the company days/time for the vacation that I took in the event that I left the job.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 23, 2007
5500 posts
There is no "in general". It depends on so many things. Most important thing is probably to consider how this impacts the company. If it's a customer facing job, then the company may need to find someone else to fill those days, creating another problem for your manager. Plus, a couple days off a does this impact job performance and quality?

If it's a stable company, I don't think saving a few hundred a month is attractive to them compared to the potential risk of someone not performing your function, whatever that is.

Most companies offer paid personal days off. If you have a good rapport with your manager, I suggest you have a frank discussion about workload. Maybe the solution is not in you taking a few days off. It could also be a matter of discussing with your manager to make your workload more manageable (could be through using time saving technologies or new processes), or redirect some work to another person.

My best advice to you is to put yourself in the shoes of your manager. If someone has a lot of special needs and not have any special skills, I'd most likely just tell you NO. Without knowing more and thinking about the way you asked, I'd suggest you rethink.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
5999 posts
Hmmm, hopefully OP comes back with more insight.

"In general" you have vacation time to use, sometimes you can use some in your first fiscal year or it will be prorated time. Other than that many companies make you take a week as a chunk of time off at a time.

However, I have a feeling OP is employed under part-time status, hence isn't entitled to "proper" vacation or benefits and the employer schedules them a ton of hours each week with shitty shift times that are all over the place. In that sense, you should request the time off you need, and 2-3 days in a row once a month isnt too much to ask if they're working you that hard.

If you're asking for 2-3 days every month on top of paid vacations and whatever personal days you may use, yes, that's unreasonable in most cases.
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