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Worker quits over boss’s ‘appalling’ demand

The worker hadn’t taken annual leave in three years and had an upcoming family holiday booked to Bali.

An Aussie worker has been praised for his response to an “appalling” text message from his boss cancelling his annual leave.

The text message exchange, shared by business coach Michael Sanz, starts off with the boss, Nick, informing his employee, Noel, that another staff member has resigned and, therefore, his three weeks’ leave will need to be cancelled.

“All hands on deck while we try to replace her. We can push back a few months. I’ve advised HR it’s now changed for you. Appreciate your understanding,” the boss wrote.

Worker response to annual leave message
An Aussie worker has been praised online for his response to his boss. (Source: TikTok)

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The worker then texts back, saying while he appreciates how “frustrating” this is for management, he can’t cancel his leave, which is booked in for the following week.


“Unfortunately, I can’t cancel my leave as it’s my brother’s wedding in Bali, all flights are paid for and my kids are in the wedding party,” Noel replies.

“I did book this in seven months ago, so cancelling isn’t an option. I can help out more until I leave if that helps, but I can’t change my leave dates.”


The boss then asks him to reduce his leave from three weeks down to three days, adding: “Not sure what you can do for three weeks in Bali haha.”

The employee again replies that he feels “terrible” the company is stuck in this position but stresses he cannot cancel or amend the family trip and notes he hasn’t taken annual leave in three years.

He then asks whether it would be possible to get a temp to cover the workload and again offers to help out until he leaves. But the boss isn’t happy with this response, leading to a final text message Sanz calls “appalling”.

“Mate, can’t stress enough, your leave is cancelled, we just can’t do it. I’m sorry,” Nick says.

Noel responds, saying he is "shocked" by the message, adding that he no longer wishes to come back to work at all.

“I’m going to take my leave earlier and will start from today. While away I will think about if working with a company that doesn’t promote boundaries is a place I really want to work at,” he replies, adding he will be sending the message on to HR.

Worker response to annual leave message
Business coach Michael Sanz shared the text message exchange online. (Source: TikTok)

Worker praised over response

Sanz praised the worker for his response and said he shouldn’t have had to justify taking annual leave.

“His holiday should go ahead,” Sanz said. “The running of the business should be left to the business owners. They should get a temp in there or a virtual assistant.

“The pressure should not be on the staff all the time to be in peak performance just because the business can’t get their admin and their staffing in line.”

Hundreds of other people have also agreed with the worker’s point of view, with many sharing they had also quit over a similar situation.

Sanz later confirmed Noel went to the wedding with his family, turned his phone off for three weeks and didn’t check socials or his emails. However, he said his wife did receive a number of missed calls from the office.

After returning to work, Noel said management was a bit distant but he had already decided during his holiday to find another job.

“So, I came back, gave notice, made sure my clients were up to date and found a new job (with higher pay),” he said.

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