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My wife has had to leave the country temporarily for family reasons so I have had to look after my kids and take time off. Now my employer wants proof that my wife did leave the country. Can they do this?
Unfortunately, the law isn’t clear on emergency leave with regard to whether an employer can ask for proof of the time off.
What is clear is that you are allowed a reasonable amount of time off – but the amount of time depends on the situation. Your employer may ask you to take the rest of the time off as annual leave after giving a short amount of emergency leave (as the emergency leave is for unplanned emergencies and to give you time to make alternative arrangements).
Your employer might be asking for proof to check that you didn’t know about the leave needed beforehand.
If you feel you have been treated unfairly for taking this time off you can raise this with your manager or HR.
I would advise looking at the emergency leave policy, if there is one, to see exactly what is says in there about providing proof or check with HR. I have seen it asked for before if the time off is for more than a day or two.