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Tips to Help You Take Time off Work to Move House

ByDave Stopher

Jun 28, 2020

Taking time off from work to move is an area of law itself. Employers can choose to reject an employee’s claim to a paid or unpaid leave when wanting to move house. In this article, we show you how to convince your boss to give you time off to move.

Moving somewhere entirely new is a really stressful event. Before the actual move itself, a lot of planning is required. Therefore, moving house demands the best time management effort from everyone involved in the process.

In the build-up to a move, a lot of things have to be considered and agreed upon. First, as the buyer of a new home, you have to sign a couple contracts to seal the deal. You also have to organise many meetings with solicitors before attending to the viewings of your new property.

In fact, it takes a lot of time and energy to move to a new house. Why, because moving deals between solicitors and estate agents are often not conducted outside of working hours. Such arrangements are restricted to the usual 9-5 working hours in a day. Furthermore; sorting out the arrangements of a move involves a lot of furniture transfer, unpacking, and decoration.

But first, you have to convince an uncompromising boss, who doesn’t understand the mechanics of moving house, to grant you leave. Before you approach your boss, however, you should first consider if, as an employee, you are entitled to such leave. You just might be eligible for some time off, but it all depends on the law set in place.

Are You Entitled to Work-Leave When Moving?

Knowing if you are entitled to leave at work, when moving is a tricky situation; especially for people in full time employment. The truth is, although employers stand to gain a lot more when accommodating staff needs, the final decision to permit a time off is still very much at their discretion. Although the moving process should be enough reason to pressure most employers into granting leave, some may decline based on their own judgement. You can challenge their decision, but…

…it all depends on the laws of your state.

Most countries around the world have labour laws that treat ‘work leave’ as a right. These nations mandate employers to grant a certain number of paid leave days every year to employees. The European Union, Australia and Canada are example of such countries that have relevant laws to justify a work leave.

In the United States, the laws are different. The US Law does not require any company to grant holidays to workers. Furthermore, this law contributes to about 25% of employees not receiving paid holidays or vacation. In fact, leave of any kind in the US is treated as a ‘perk’ and not a ‘civil right’. So, if you want to convince your boss to grant you a leave, you need to be prepared for the eventual discussion.

Knowing Your Company’s Moving Policy

Many organisations operate on a short staffing plan. For such companies, every worker is missed when they take leave from work. This makes it very difficult for certain firms to grant employees time off, especially when requested for on a short notice. Therefore, before you ask your boss for a leave, know that it can go both ways. Brace yourself for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

First, you need to know more about your company’s vacation policy. On average, employees are provided with about 2 to 4 weeks of paid leave per year. This timeframe may be extended in some firms; and some employers even offer unlimited vacation time. In fact, your firm may be one of the few which doesn’t offer employees paid vacation time at all—but we hope not.

Sometimes, certain workplaces calculate vacation time based on the period an employee has worked in that firm. Some derive length of vacation time based on an employee’s years of service. Company policies are almost never the same. Some firms offer paid leave but do not pay the sum until an employee covers up that lost time. Again, we hope it’s not your firm—it can’t be.

Asking for Time off for a Move

To reiterate, organisations are not legally mandated to provide paid or unpaid vacation for employees. However, some firms are nice enough to grant employees paid leave based on special reasons such as spending time with family and/or moving house. Even if your company’s handbook doesn’t stipulate a vacation pay, you can still ask for time off. Most times, employers are more willing to grant leave if you do not request for pay.

Whatever the angle you choose, don’t be afraid to ask your boss for a leave. No sane person would deny an employee time off needed to move to an entirely different place. That being said, new hires can request a few days off to get things sorted out.

Best Approach to Getting Leave for a Move

As aforementioned, you should consult your staff handbook and review your employment contract to determine if you’re entitled to time off. Some employers offer additional days off for special occasions such as weddings and honeymoons. Convincing your employer that moving to a new home is also a special event shouldn’t be too hard.

In the same vein, there are assured means to get your preferred time off period. First, you should set your house move date to Friday. That way, you give home movers longer time to get the work done and ensure numerous due processes are followed. Home movers need that extra time to successfully pack and load up all your possessions. After then, they wait for the removal van, before going ahead to complete the move.

Moving to a new house goes beyond picking up the keys. It demands a lot of activity; making Friday the best time to take some time off. Not only do you get extra time on weekends to finish your move, you also recover in time for work on Monday.


More often than not, a time off request based on a house move is perfectly acceptable by many employers. If they do, however, reject your request, you have every right to demand a very good reason. Therefore, it is important to give a notice period that is twice as long as your required time-off. This gives your boss some time to reallocate certain tasks to your co-workers.