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Is it illegal for my boss to ask why 'm requesting a day off?
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Is it illegal for my boss to ask why 'm requesting a day off?

My manager recently told me that the main boss wants to know why we are requesting days off. We already have a rule of putting in request 2 weeks ahead of time for approval. I have been following this rule and recently put in a request for 2 days off in November. My manager tells me the main boss wants to know why I am requesting off. I feel like this is an invasion of privacy. If someone can please help answer this question. Thank You. :)


Mr Sceptic
Depends if you're asking to take holiday that's due, or exceptional leave.

Are you expecting him to pay you for these days off? If so, he has every right to know why you won't be at work.

where I work if I put in for any holiday no one ask me why?I am entitled to it so if there is enough staff to cover the time I am allowed no questions.

He has the right to ask. You have the right to reply "Personal reasons".
He also has the right to refuse you those particular days off.

well i dont know all the rules but if your company is like mine, i get so many sick days and so many vacation days per year. as long as i give a decent amount of time before hand they dont care if i spend them standing on my head. yours shouldnt either. i would contact the human relations dept w/in your company or the local labor dept. that is NOT right.

Patrick R
Of course he can ask. Just say: personal business. No further explanation is needed.

no its not illegal to ask - you dont have to tell him thats the plain facts. he is requesting why as it helps with monitoring why people have time off - perhaps a redundancy is on the way and he needs to decide who is going.

lots of people request days off for no other reason than they want a day off. this is fine occassionally but is bad for business, so if you have valid reasons you are unlikely to be refused a day off whereas other people may not be so lucky and no good reasons may be the decider in whether you keep your job or not. unless of course you are taking statutory holiday in which case its the law and you have to have it - its the extra unpaid leave your boss will be concerned about

girl afraid
I'm not sure if it's strictly illegal, but surely if you've got holiday days you're free to take them as holiday, whenever you want! He should mind his own business, I don't even tell my boss where I'm going on holiday if I don't want to.

Its none of his phucking business.
Sorry I dont know the actual legalities on this but i'm sure he does not have nay right to know all his staff personal matters.
What a pric k

if you are in the UK take a look at the direct gov website - it contains a lot of useful info. Sadly it does not cover your boss asking why you want a day off but it seems he can dictate to you when you will have your holiday if he wants to. As someone has mentioned perhaps he has had a number of requests for the same period and wants to agree to which ever he thinks is the most deserving case.

How immoral! Tell him it's personal reasons. If you're in the UK contact Citizen's Advice Bureau so when he asks you next time you can say that you have no legal obligation to tell him why you need time off work. he must legally give you a certain number of days per year, whatever the reason.

It's not illegal for him to ask. If you're asking for part of your holiday entitlement you don't have to explain though. Bear in mind, though, that your boss controls when you can take your leave, and if perhaps he can only afford to let one employee off at the time in question and two of you are asking he may wish to know so he can grant the request to whoever has the more "important" reason.

Happened to me once, both of us managers had requested leave unknown to the other at the same time and it was granted to my colleague as he was attending a wedding whereas I just wanted the time to do some decorating. I understood and accepted the reason when himself told me.

To my knowledge, asking such a question is outside the boundaries of business and privacy laws. As long as you have the time available to use, then there should be no need to ask why.
If , however, you are someone who abuses time off, taking more time off than you are entitled to take, then your company does have some right to question, unless it involves something like an already established medical condition. Best thing to do would be to check with a lawyer, most of whom will do one free initial consultation. Good luck.

If you are asking for annual leave its none of his or her business, however, if you are asking at a time when there are more than enough people out sick or on holiday and staffing levels are down. I suppose your boss would need to prioritise and monitor the reasons for leave in order to manage the company and not put to much pressure on those that are running the fort. if you give plenty of notice however and it is agreed in advance No.


Just keep it very vague. Surely you are entitled to leave and you want to have a few days off. It really isn't his business.

robert c

We are aloud to ask for personal time off...
iv'e been late before now and simply stated personal...

pinkhamster99 (nWo) Shell Yeah!!
It will probably vary slightly contract to contract but, this is the rough guidelines;

Legally you are allowed one week off (usually paid) in 13 weeks of paid work. Your boss can dictate when these are deployed. For example if a certain time period is busy your boss is allowed to stop holidays over this period (however this is usually known by the workforce beforehand).

If you have fully used your holiday entitlement then he is right to question your request.

If you still have holiday entitlement remaining then he is not entitled to question it (unless as stated previous. There maybe lots of people requesting over the same period and he's evaluating who's more worthy). In this case it would be best to indicate to your boss when your last holiday was (especially if you haven't had one for a while) and how much of your entitlement you have used and have remaining.

I think if it is in your contract that you get time off then they have to give it to you regardless of the reason.
If you are in a union they should be able to tell you.
Also I am certain that some one on this site will know, and probably be able to tell you exactly what the law says.

I'm an employer-

If I am approving a time off request I can ask why my employees want the off.

When we have had big projects going and needed the man power I've shot down the time off request for a day at lake but approved them for a wedding.

and I fired someone for making a fake call in on a the same day the was shot down for a time off request-

For the most part if it doesn't interfere with their work, I don't care what they do with the time off, and will just approve most request

We operate in a right to work state-

Not illegal to ask... not even illegal to decide who gets time off as more entiltled than others.

As a single mother, your colleague may "need" a day off while you supposedly "just feel like it". Sadly, your boss will probably favour the family plans over the party.

It is possible they are simply tracking trends to explore, plan, or control something. They probably do not intend to be nosy, even if it feels like it.

Aly R.
Well you can explain its your business in a calm and reasonable matter. I dougt your boss will fire you *knock on wood* because it IS your business that you want a vacation. Right? Right!

What is so unreasonable about asking why you want the time off. If you are going in for say an operation or attending a funeral, that would be grounds for letting you have time off, but if you wanted to go fishing or play golf, well, you can put your own answer in there.No one is invading your privacy, just doing business.

p.s substitute fishing and golf for hairdresser and shopping.

Ja Ma
if you were the boss you might want to know whether the reason for the leave is frivolous particularly if an employee has a history of these requests. i would take the buddhist approach of harmoniousness of purpose instead of the western approach of resolution by confrontation.

Aberdeen Tyke
Yes, tell him you have an itchy anus caused by a virus caught from your brothers cat whilst it was in a cattery, and you have to see a private consultant.
If he doesn't get the message then, he must be simple.

No, he can ask that. You don't have to answer but you might get fired/disciplined.

Riley M
No don't think so, i'm sure he has a right to know, when it comes to his staff taking days off, but if its a personal issue i don't think you have to tell him or go into details and whatnot

He can ask. You can say no. In most states, he can fire you for pretty much any reason.

Is this so hard to follow?

Barry auh2o
Maybe he needs to know if he should charge it off as a sick day or personal day.

Also, keep in mind, unless you are specifically covered by an employment contract, you can be left go at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all.
Answer the man.

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