Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
Consultancy_hr & Ir
Concept-commissioning Of Projects
+1 Other

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Hi, I am working for a Ltd Finance Company for the last 15 yrs.
Now I have applied for earned leave for 5 months for travelling abroad. Though the HR dept at Corporate Office will have no issues in sanctioning the same, the sanctioning authority first has to be my immediate boss.
She has refused to do this citing 5 months is a long time to be on a holiday.
For her leave is not a matter of right and work will suffer and the corporate office will give no temporary staff for replacement.
Now, just coz work will suffer at local office level can I be denied my hard earned leave? How do I go about getting the leave sanctioned?
I have applied for the leave well in advance giving the requisite period notice. only 5 days of the leave notice period are remaining.
Kindly advise as I have already booked and paid for the tickets to travel abroad.Pls note no change in thetravel itenirary can be effected.
Deeply anquished.

From India, Pune

You have a genuine problem!

Do you have leave rules in your company? If yes, what do the rules say onthis issue?

Regardless, your immediate supervisor is legally correct, in as much as no leave is a "right" to be used exactly when one wishes to even at the cost to organizational work exigencies, but is a privilege, and is morally/ethically WRONG in taking a rather narrow view of the matter. What is your track record regarding earned leave utilization in past say three years. If you have so much E.L balance lying unavailed, your record is bound to be good!

If the fact and merits of your case are in place, the work aspect is a mere excuse. Even otherwise, when someone is absent, his/her work is taken by others. Especially when it is known that the absence is going to be long, most certainly alternate arrangements can and must be made for the work to be taken care of.

In fact by being difficult and reluctant to grant leave of this duration and putting forward like, "work exigencies", you supervisor in only proving a point against the basic principle of organization and professionalism. This principle is, "No one is indispensible!" .

In the present case you should approach the superior once again, diplomatically marshalling arguments why it is justified, on logic and facts, for her to grant the leave. I suppose you should mark a copy to the HR and the immediate supervisor's superior and seek their intervention. If you do that, be convinced that you would be doing nothig wrong.

If you diecide to follow this startegy, I and in fac all of us would be interesting in knowing the outcome!

Cheer up, be positive!



August 1, 2010


From India, Pune
Dear Freida

I agree with Samvedan's views.

In addition to his views, I would like to point out that the mindset of the corporates need to change; especially with people becoming more conscious about work-life balance; giving time to themselves and their family, having some periodical break from wok for renewing oneself etc.

Gone are the days, when a person would work continuously (most often in one company) from joining till he retires. Today people want to explore the world, dabble into some other profession or pastime, take longer breaks from work, change jobs to experience a wider spectrum of employment opportunities etc.

However, corporates still frown upon employees seeking long leave or sabbatical; are suspicious of employees who change job frequently; are skeptical of hiring people who have had a long break in their career etc.

In your case, your immediate boss, by not recommending your leave. is proving that 'you are, indeed, indispensable', he can not manage a temporary substitute or arrangement, is an incompetent and unsympathetic boss.

I hope better sense prevail and you enjoy your leave and vacation.

Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
Dear Frieda

I personally feel that before planning your 5 month long foreign tour and finalizing the to and fro bookings, you should have taken your boss in confidence and taken her consent before-hand. I fully agree with Shri Samvedan and Shri Raj Kumar ji that no one in the world is indispensible and the boss should manage the affairs during your absence from duty. However the boss is boss. The boss has to manage the important work of a financial institute during the absence of a responsible senior person. So please say sorry to your boss and get her consent. I have worked in public sector for 41 years and my studies, my experience of government leave rules teach me that a person seeking leave of such long duration should always think of his/her boss' reaction before-hand and take the boss' prior consent before finalizing the itinery. You say your itinery cannot be changed now. So the only remedy left is to change your boss' mood. Ruthe huye Boss ko mana lo aur videsh me nishtint ho kar jao.

Best wishes for happy holidays abroad !

शुभास्ते पन्थान: सन्तु |

Best regards

Shyam Agrawal

From India, Pune
Dear Raj Kumar
Your thought process expressed in first three paragraphs of your reply are fit for casting in gold.....no ...platinum!!!! and made to be as a mandatory display on every power desk in an organisation.
To take forward your thought process...it takes guts to break the perpetuation of archaic mindset so deeply rooted in the INDIAN Corporates(Even MNC's in INDIA).After all the working control is still with us...taking pride to be old fashioned .....yet ever praising the employee freindly policies prevailing back home for their Expat Masters. Its rare to find many Davids taking on to the Goliaths
I only wish similar thoughts are inculcated,right from the academic stage so as to be etched deep into the psyche of every individual who yearns to matter in the corporate hierarchy.
Do keep enlightening the fellow professionals quite often.
Deep Regards
Sunil Nayyar

From India, Bahadurgarh
Dear Friends,

Thanks for the valuable contribution to my thread.

As you have rightly said a Boss is a boss, whether to take her into confidence or not is a matter of debate.

In my case the holiday or leave was not planned in advance, it is only coz my husband got an opportunity to work overseas for 3 years that we have decided to accompany him, get him settled and travel back.

I rightly agree with Mr. Raj kumar above. Everybody needs time off for family, self renewal etc. Keeping this in mind the reason given in my leave appln was - "Work related Stress, suffering from Diabeties and Hypertension, Need time off from work hence family decision to take a vacation abroad".

As rightly pointed above my track record regarding earned leave utilization in past say three years is very good. Further, I have given the requisite notice period so I don't think I should be sorry in applying for leave and giving the requisite notice.

Further When you know the mindset of a corporate Boss, who thinks of only work and work - not done by herself - but others who do it for him, definitely work will suffer. In such circumstances it is truly difficult to convince such a boss who herself does not go on a holiday, but takes pride in encashing the Earned leave beyond the permited limit. Yes, I do agree about my seniority in the position but as Samvedan has pointed out nobody is indespensible.

As suggested above, I did approach the superior once again, marshalling arguments why it is justified for her to grant the leave, but to no avail. The only way now is I suppose to mark a copy to the HR and the immediate supervisor's superior and seek their intervention.

Only 3 more working days left. Hoping better sense prevails and no unpleasantness is caused.

In the meanwhile could somebody help me in drafing a diplomatic letter to be mailed to my HR dept?

Thanks once again


From India, Pune
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