A number of One Direction fans have reportedly requested “compassionate leave” from work, after they were left distraught following singer Zayn Malik‘s recent departed from the pop group.
Malik left the boy band on Wednesday (March 25), after he had previously pulled out of the group’s Asian tour with stress.
Now The Independent reports that the Employer Advice Service has received more than 220 calls from One Direction fans.
“While I sympathise with One Direction fans, I hardly think this qualified as compassionate leave,” Employment law director Alan Price told the newspaper. “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.”
He added: “Abusing compassionate leave is inconsiderate to fellow colleagues who may genuinely need the time off.”
Rumours about Malik’s future in the band were abound after he recently pulled out of the group’s Asian tour (March 19) so he could fly back to the UK to be with his family after pictures emerged of him with a mystery girl in Thailand. Malik is currently engaged to Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards.
Malik recently spoke for the first time since his exit. He said: “I feel like I’ve let the fans down but I can’t do this anymore. It is crazy and wild and a bit mad but, at the same time, I’ve never felt more in control in my life.
“And I feel like I’m doing what’s right – right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good. You know, I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while, for the sake of maybe other people’s happiness. And that was mainly the fans. And I only ever tried to do it for the fans, and it was only ever for them.”
“I’m only upset [because] I feel like I may have let them down in some sort of way. It’s not that I’ve turned my back on them or anything, it’s just that I just can’t do that anymore because it’s not real to me.”
Meanwhile, Malik suggested that while One Direction will continue without him, it may not be for long. “They still want to do it for a while,” he said. “So they’re going to carry on doing what they want to do and I think they’re going to do okay for a while.”