Is your employer obligated to give you a day off after a breakup?

The prime minister of Italy has come under criticism for taking a "personal day" in the wake of a breakup.

Right-wing leader Giorgia Meloni posted a statement to her social media pages on Friday announcing her relationship with Andrea Giambruno "ends here," as she said the couple's paths had diverged "for some time".

But the split follows a leaked audio recording of Giambruno, an on-air television personality, heard making rude remarks and propositioning a colleague.

While some praised Meloni for taking a day off following the end of the relationship, she came in for criticism from others - especially those who have seen their own family lives disrupted as a result of her championing of so-called traditional family values and the belief all children need "a mother and a father".

The public breakup has, however, thrown up the question - are you entitled to a day off if you've had a bad breakup?

While there's no universal employment right in the UK on the matter, there are policies some businesses have opted into.

In February, a wide range of major UK employers partnered with the Positive Parenting Alliance (PPA) to introduce workplace policies for staff going through a divorce or a separation.

Asda, Metro Bank, Tesco, Unilever and PwC were among those to take up the policy, which essentially treats a breakup the same as a bereavement.

Divorce solicitors have welcomed it.

Emma Kendall, a representative at Pearson, said: "Emotionally divorce and separation affects people in lots of different ways and I’ve had clients had to take time off work due to the stress and others breaking down at work.

"It can be a traumatic life change for many people and there is a lot to consider. I welcome this change of attitudes in the workplace."

Psychologists have even said the impact of a separation is similar to the loss you feel when someone close to you dies. Credit: Pixabay

Indeed, psychologists have even said the impact of a separation is similar to the loss you feel when someone close to you dies.

But not all companies recognise divorce leave which means many end up taking sick leave in the wake of a breakup.

Broken heart syndrome is a recognised medical condition but how widely recognised that is at work depends on your individual circumstances.

Beyond those options, any time off is at the discretion of your employer and HR department.

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