I have been at my company for just over a year and my yearly review is coming up. I am doing well, and my boss has dropped hints of a raise (even if they hadn't I would be asking for one anyway as I feel it is deserved).

I also happen to be in the middle of planning a long-term holiday, 5-6 weeks to be more precise, in May-June 2017. I need to ask for approval before I commit to these plans. I do not expect this to be a paid leave (sabbatical) and I am fine with that.

Is it acceptable to ask for this leave just before or just after my review? It almost seems like I am asking for too much, especially if I end up having to negotiate my raise.



Is it acceptable to ask for this leave just before or just after my review? It almost seems like I am asking for too much, especially if I end up having to negotiate my raise.

You can ask for leave any time you choose.

If your concern is that asking for this leave would impact your raise, then clearly you should ask after the annual review and raise process is complete. You know management at your company and hopefully this doesn't apply for you, but some managers would consider a 5-6 week absence as evidence that your role isn't really needed by the company very much.

Other than that, asking sooner is better for the company as it will give them a bit more time to prepare for your absence should your sabbatical be granted.

In my US locale, and in the companies where I have worked, asking for such an extensive leave after being with the company for only a year and with only a few months notice would be considered "too much".

On the other hand, in several companies where I worked it was common for people to "save up" vacation time for several years in order to use it on an extended trip back home (typically India or China for 3-4 weeks). But this was always agreed to years in advance.

It's unfortunate you didn't get an agreement for this leave during the hiring process a year ago particularly if this is something you would like to do repeatedly.


The earlier you ask, the easier it is for them to plan around your absence, and the more likely it will be approved. The salary adjustment doesn't affect that either way. And it shouldn't affect the salary adjustment either way, if Management is vaguely rational.

  • This. Regardless of whether management is rational or not, the outcome is more likely to be better the more notice they're given. Short-term considerations not-withstanding (if your boss is in a bad mood, best wait for a better day to inform them) – Kaz Feb 21 '17 at 17:25
  • management cares about their budget... that is their rationality and it is completely rational – IDrinkandIKnowThings Feb 21 '17 at 17:26
  • ...there's a whole lot of people who post on this site with managers that would have a hard time meeting your bar of vaguely rational. – Myles Feb 21 '17 at 17:26
  • 2
    @myles - selection bias - people come here because they have problems. – HorusKol Feb 21 '17 at 22:04
  • @Horuskol I feel like the "vaguely rational" comment implies that a tiny percentage of managers would behave like this. I've had more than one manager that I wouldn't be surprised if they turned down a raise for asking for this sort of leave let alone if it were given. Remember that the audience for this site includes retail and restaurant where management standards and retention philosophy can be a world away from a professional environment. – Myles Feb 22 '17 at 13:58

As a manager, I'd be a bit put out that you'd only come in February to ask for 6 weeks off in May - especially as some places have policies about taking leave in more than two week blocks.

While you might not know the exact dates, this should have been flagged and discussed with your boss last year - even request for approval can be given on the understanding the start and stop dates may shift due to flights/hotels. The final dates can be set much closer to the time, but managers need to know when there's going to be an extended period of lower capacity in planning work. It's even more important if there are specific skills and tasks that need to be covered.

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