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Heartbroken workers seek compassionate leave after Zayn Malik quits One Direction

Zayn Malik’s departure from British boy band One Direction has caused such consternation amongst fans that employers have been inundated with requests for compassionate leave.

Mr Malik announced that he was leaving the band two days ago, prompting a flurry of calls to employment law firm Peninsula, which provides advice on staff rights in the workplace, as employees sought time off to grieve.

Alan Price, a director at Peninsula, yesterday tweeted that “you could not make this up”. According to the Manchester-based firm, there have been “hundreds” of calls about Mr Malik.

Speaking to the Telegraph this morning, Mr Price said: “In terms of famous celebrities and their impact on employees, Zayn Malik has to go down as a person that has caused the most upset.

“Social media has certainly been a factor in this, with employees responding with their thoughts and feelings. The reaction is certainly more significant than when Take That split up or when Robbie Williams left the group.”

Since Wednesday, Peninsula has received 480 calls to its helpline from employers seeking advice on their staff requesting compassionate leave because of the Zayn Malik furore.

Requests are being submitted by employees of all ages, according to Peninsula, and both male and female employees have been asking for time off.

“Personally, I believe people employees have to toughen up,” added Mr Price. “Zayn hasn’t died, I’m sure this won’t be the last we hear from him; everyone has to put this into perspective.

“I would advise any employer who receives a compassionate leave request to refuse it – unless the employee concerned is directly related to Zayn. Enforce that the employee takes it as holiday leave, if they feel that strongly about the situation. People need to grow a thicker skin – this is not an excuse to take time off work.

Some of us at Barbarian Bail Bonds need some time off as well because of these very troubling news about Zayn Malik stepping down from One Direction. It’s hard to bear, how will we survive? Life will never be the same…

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