Steve Ngai (危 志 荣) KuaLa Lumpur, Malaysia

Why some companies especially banks require their staff to take ‘Block Leave’?

In my previous company, every year, we need to take this mandatory block leave. It is a special annual leave whereby the annual leave is in a ‘block’ form once a year. During this period, the company is not allowed to contact you and vice versa. An executive level might have a longer block leave compare to a non-executive.

During your block leave period, if you company contacted you for some critical reasons, your block leave is considered void. And when it is void, you need to re-take the block leave again. If you do not have enough annual leave for your block leave, you need to take unpaid leave for your block leave.


So, what is the purpose of a company imposing their staff to take block leave? The answer is risk management, to make sure that the company can still operate as usual without your presence. Just imagine, a bank has this only one employee who can support a critical system. And one fine day, he went missing in action. It can be due to many possibilities. Emergency. Accident. Critical illness. What will happened to the bank? Another word, by imposing block leave, this will ensure that there is replacement for every staff.

Not all company impose block leave, only those from banking industry or those companies which need to support critical systems.

Even with this scenario of senior software engineer resigned, the entire team is more prepared. At least, for the past four years, we know that the company survives when Mutu took block leave.