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My wedding is coming up in October this year and I need 5 weeks (25 working days) of leave for completing all the wedding rituals, honeymoon, etc. My fiancé will be leaving abroad for work so I want to spend time with him and family before he leaves.

Taking leave for this long is unusual at my company. What can I do to effectively ask and/or negotiate for the time off?

In discussing the request with manager so far:

  • I’ve offered to connect remotely for 10 of the 25 days
  • I’ve offered to take unpaid leave instead of paid leave
  • My manager hasn’t been collaborative in identifying alternatives

My manager has refused my request for this time off because there is "upcoming work" and declined my suggestion to work from home as he doesn't seem to believe I'll actually be working effectively while planning my wedding.

EDIT: Thank you all for the responses. Since my manager asked me to mail me the exact dates on the day I first asked, I did. It's been a week since I sent that mail and there hasn't been any response despite of me sending him reminders. If he responds to it before the end of this month I can serve a month's notice period and buy out the 2nd month. He just won't give me any kind of response. How should I approach about my resignation politely?

  • How long in advance did you request the leave? Is it feasible for your boss to get someone else to cover your workload during that period? These are important things to consider in evaluating “too much to ask.” If you’re notifying him of your 5 week absence a month away from the start and there’s no one else with the ability to do your job then it does seem like it’s asking a lot. – AffableAmbler Aug 21 at 23:03
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    @AffableAmbler I requested for leave one month in advance and there is backup also. I checked with my team lead. I have seen other colleagues taking off for 5 weeks so I was really expecting the same from him. That is the reason why I was asking "is it too much". – candyculen Aug 22 at 7:06
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    What country are you living / working in ?? – vikingsteve Aug 22 at 12:55
  • as @vikingsteve said, where do you work (country); if different, where are you getting married. – Chris H Aug 22 at 12:57
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    You're only asking 1.5 months in advance. For the other similar requests that were approved, how far in advance were they requested? (in my experience, esp. US employers need to be asked 6+ months in advance for this sort of thing, so they can factor it into project planning) – smci Aug 23 at 11:43
90

Is it too much to ask for leaves for my own wedding?!

Well, you can ask. You did. You were allowed to take the leave that is in your contract and you were denied leave that is not in your contract. You have no right to unpaid leave, the same way your employer has no right to tell you "I don't need you, I won't pay you for ten days, but you don't need to work". You have a contract that clearly states what is expected of both of you. Work for payment. Stopping to work would be just as much a breach of that contract as stopping to pay.

So you can be happy with the leave that you are entitled to according to your contract, or you can take that as an opportunity to switch jobs. But even your next job is not required to give you unpaid days off for reasons that are not a medical emergency.

76

Somebody has got to say this:

Don't.

It is not part of Indian culture for every girl to have a royal wedding. Honeymoons aren't a part of Indian culture at all. I'd strongly suggest going to the finance forum and asking them how an expensive wedding will effect your life.

I married an Indian girl a few years ago and there were 1,250 people at my wedding. I had never seen 1,220 of them before and I never will again. My father in law destroyed a really significant portion of his life's wealth. That will affect his ability to retire comfortably. On top of this, I ended up forking out $20,000 of my own money over three weeks to cover unexpected costs.

By the time we got back, the wedding felt more like a rape. The next year, her parents called her up and wanted an additional $10,000 because they were in debt from the wedding.

We are still married and I love my wife, but we started our lives together by stacking $100,000 in a pile and burning it. The wedding pushed back our ability to start a family because we spent our house downpayment on a big party.

Every one of my wife's friends regrets how much they spent on their weddings.

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    I think you started your answer good, but got lost in tangential details of your wedding experience. I strongly suggest you cut those details out as it does not answer the question. – DarkCygnus Aug 21 at 20:05
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    @DarkCygnus I think this answer addresses the X-Y problem. The question is "How do I get 5 weeks vacation", but could be related to another question: "Should I take 5 weeks for my wedding". The tangential details are relevant to the secondary question – Thomas Zwaagstra Aug 21 at 20:15
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    @ThomasZwaagstra ok, I respect your point of view. I think that the first paragraphs answer the question. The whole details of expensive wedding has IMHO nothing to do with if asking for 5 weeks is ok. – DarkCygnus Aug 21 at 20:17
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    I haven't mentioned anywhere that it's going to be a big fat wedding. I require those many leaves to perform some wedding rituals which only involve in laws and parents. As he's leaving right after a few weeks, I want to be able to spend time with him. That what I require leaves for. And I don't live in Europe. I'm working in India. – candyculen Aug 22 at 6:41
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    How is this related to the question? Nowhere has a "royal wedding" been mentioned. – Robert Grant Aug 23 at 17:31
44

How can I go about requesting an extended period off work so that I can conduct my wedding and honeymoon in the same period?

One thing that the other answers haven't touched on so far, is that the requested time off is very soon. You don't mention exact dates, but October this year is only 6 weeks away! Whilst this won't help for the current situation, the following advice may help you/others in the future.

My manager says it is impossible for him to be able to grant me so many days as there is "upcoming" work.

and

When I asked him to suggest any other alternative, he asked me to "come up with alternative dates or cut my trip short".

suggest that your boss would be willing to give you a longer than usual period of time off. However, work has already been planned as you're only giving very short notice. It is best to request time off as early as possible, as soon as you know you're going to need it, especially when it's for a longer period like you're requesting here.

The only time that an extended period of time off should be a requested for so soon, is if it's a true emergency which couldn't have been anticipated earlier. I assume you knew you were getting married before now, and have had arrangements for the wedding and honeymoon prior to today - after all, planning a wedding is a big affair.

As soon as you knew when the wedding was going to be, that's when you should have spoken to your boss about getting extended time off. Whilst it's not guaranteed that it would have been accepted, it's more likely that they would be accommodating to your request, as it gives them time to plan work around this.

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    How is this a short notice? It says the wedding is in October. – Džuris Aug 21 at 17:49
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    @Džuris, for a few days or even a week off, no, this is not short notice. But to lose a team member for over a month? Yes, this is short notice for the business to make arrangements. – djs Aug 21 at 18:11
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    @Džuris it’s short notice because the notice given is almost as long as the length of time off requested. Personally, I try and give at least 3x the length of time off requested as notice, e.g. 1 week time off, give 3 weeks notice. 5 weeks off, give 15 weeks notice. Even then, that’s the absolute minimum notice I would give, and as mentioned in the answer, I’d request it as soon as I knew I needed the time off, even if it’s 12-18 months in advance. – crazyloonybin Aug 21 at 19:34
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    @candyculen: Unfortunately, second-guessing your manager's behaviour like that has lead you to your current problem. Unless you have good reason to suspect unprofessional conduct from your manager it is generally better to negotiate openly and honestly as soon as practical. However, I would agree that is not an answer that you can apply right now, as you are looking for an answer for this wedding, not another one – Neil Slater Aug 22 at 12:10
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    @Mołot I wanted 3 weeks off at my place, so spoke to my boss about a year beforehand about getting the time off. Fortunately mine was for a holiday which was not yet booked, meaning I had a bit of wiggle room in terms of dates, so we sat down and discussed what dates would work best for each of us and went from there. It's rare that a manager is out to get you, and they will most likely do what they can to help you out, but you've got to help them out first. In this case, give them enough prior warning. – crazyloonybin Aug 22 at 15:58
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Is it too much to ask for leaves for my own wedding?!

Generally not no - but 5 weeks is a rather extreme amount. Losing an employee for 5 consecutive weeks when as your boss has said there's upcoming work is majorly disruptive. Not only that but it's also exceeding your remaining holiday amount.

I asked him if he can allow me to connect from home for about 10 days. He said he thinks I won't be that effective working from home.

I have to say I'm not surprised - it's hard to imagine you'd be giving work suitable levels of attention and focus if you were working from home given the initial request was to have the time off.

I am ready for loss of pay for 10 days, since I am willing to use all my 15 remaining annual/casual leaves. He won't allow for that also.

Again.. there's work coming up, if they need you for that work then you being off on unpaid leave isn't going to change that.

he asked me to "come up with alternative dates or cut my trip short".

I think you have your answer - I think you're going to have to either modify your plans or leave (the latter feels rather excessive to me but ultimately it is an option).

7

There are a lot of good answers here.

But I don't think any of them have addressed the amount of notice you gave your boss. A general rule of thumb in the UK (where I'm based) is to give notice that is twice the length of the holiday you're requesting. So if I want to take a day off, I give my boss two days notice, if I want a week off, I give my boss two weeks notice. If I wanted to take 5 weeks off, I would be expected to give my boss at least 10 weeks notice, almost 3 months. That is a lot more than the single month you gave your boss.

The expectations in your area may be different but should be laid out in your employee handbook, or contract.

You boss needs time to adjust plans and delivery schedules. Even if you believe your work can be picked up by other members of your team. The team is still one person down for five weeks and will not be able to deliver the same quantity of work.

I think it's unrealistic to give a months notice for a five-week holiday. Especially for something like a wedding that would have been planned months in advance.

2

You've already asked, and been rejected. Your only options are to change your plans or resign and hope you can get your job back when you return (or find another one).

Most reasonable people will understand that your family and religion is more important than a job, and won't get too upset. (if they do, you probably don't want to work for them anyway). A future employer will understand that you're not likely to make a habit of quitting to get married - hopefully it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing!

5 weeks is quite a short time to recruit a replacement. They'd have to post an advert, wait a couple of weeks for people to see the advert, then book interviews, then another couple for a second interview, then wait for the new person to work their notice. Your job may well still be open when you return, especially if your boss compares the amount of work involved in interviewing and training a replacement vs just waiting for you to come back.

OTOH there may be someone ready to step right into your job, so there's no guarantee.

It's possible that your boss will find a way to compromise when he's faced with a resignation letter but I wouldn't bet on it, and it's really important that he doesn't feel you are merely threatening to leave to improve your negotiating position.

0

It's hard to say, seeing as I don't know Indian laws or customs, but to me 25 days seems excessive. I'm from Denmark and I don't think anyone here would allow me 25 days of vacation back to back. Often the soft top limit is considered 3 weeks, though this is more of an unspoken rule.

I think few places would allow such a large leave in one go as it seriously hampers their production.

I don't think they are being unreasonable and I suggest you either find a job that can accommodate your needs or adjust your needs.

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    I similarly work in Denmark, and I have been employed at different companies. None of them has any issue with employees claiming 5-6 weeks of vacation at one go. I know of colleagues who have done so, and they are senior-level employees, not juniors whose presence won't be missed. – MY_G Aug 21 at 15:00
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    It does sound odd compared to other Nordic countries. I've never heard of anyone being discouraged of keeping their yearly summer vacation, usually 4 weeks non-stop (with one week for Christmas or maybe winter vacation). In Finnish law, it is even illegal to force employees to have less than 2 weeks of uninterrupted vacation - and almost everyone uses 4 weeks non-stop anyway. Unless you started a new job, and haven't accumulated that many vacation days yet (2 days per month in the first year of employment). – Juha Untinen Aug 21 at 20:51
  • In Denmark it is most common to have 3 weeks of summer vacation. The same applies for Denmark with the 2 weeks rule. But the law in Denmark also states that you should work with your company to find timing and lengths of vacations that doesn't interrupt the flow too much. I have primarily worked for companies with deadlines every second month and who assumes a lot of people will be out for summer vacation. So if someone took 5 weeks of vacation in say winter, it would mess the deadlines up so it usually wouldn't be possible. – Sander Skovgaard Hansen Aug 22 at 5:55
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    I have seen my own colleagues from other teams taking off for 4-5 weeks. I was expecting the same from this manager, but ultimately i see that it totally depends on the individual. – candyculen Aug 22 at 6:16
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    There's a VERY big difference to claiming 5 or 6 weeks over "summer vacation" (which is July in some countries and August in others), where many scandinavian countries pretty much "shut down" for a month (and a half) and taking 5 weeks at some other point in the year. – vikingsteve Aug 22 at 12:47

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