Fans want compassionate leave as Zayn quits One Direction
MORE than 220 calls were made to employment law experts by workers in the UK asking for compassionate leave following the news that Zayn Malik had quit One Direction.
The singer's announcement is said to have catalysed hundreds of requests made to the Employer Advice Service of Manchester-based company Peninsula.
Employment law director Alan Price said "it was a situation you just couldn't make up". "While I sympathise with One Direction fans, I hardly think this qualified as compassionate leave," Price told the Manchester Evening News.
EARLIER: ZAYN MALIK QUITS ONE DIRECTION
"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."
He went on to draw comparisons between the event and that of the big parting of ways of Robbie Williams from Take That in 1996, where they again experienced a huge spike in calls from concerned bosses.
@AWBellMENMedia Hard to believe but we have received calls from bosses whose staff requested compassionate leave over Zayn Malik leaving 1D— Alan Price (@alan__price) March 26, 2015
Malik released an official statement about his departure on Wednesday. It read: "My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart.
"I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."
Mental health charities have since called on One Direction fans to be cautious of hashtags that appear to promote self-harm and other worrying trends.