HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Responding to Employer While on Vacation


Hi HR Professionals,

Are employees obligated to respond to Employer's calls / msgs / emails when employees are on vacation?




Reply 1

Employees are not obligated to respond to calls while on vacation because that is their off days. They cannot be tied down to the company 24/7 especially on their rest days / after work hours.

Usually, we will not call staff while they are on sick leave / annual leave unless the issue is really urgent. Then again, they are not penalized for not answering the calls.




Reply 2

If this question was posed in the old days, where there were no internet and text messaging system, I would say a direct no, especially when employees are on vacation.

But in our current living environment, my view is that, it is not an explicit obligation to respond.
However, it has become an implied and understood requirement. Generally, the shift in work commitment culture is correlated to communication technology.

If a company does not practice assigning cover officers for employees going on a vacation, a responsible employee would respond to the call, though not obligated.




Reply 3

There is no hard and fast rule to this. The employee on vacation has the right not to respond since he/she is spending his/her own personal or private time and may not want to be disturbed.

However in practice/reality, the more senior the person is in terms of job level or his mobile expenses, relating to business, are paid by the company, it is usually expected of the employee on vacation to respond to emails, calls, etc for work matters especially they are of critical nature.




Reply 4

No. Being on Annual leave is part of their entitlement, there is no law stipulating that they have to be on 24 hours standby unless job environment requires them to be.




Reply 5

No, employees are not obligated to answer calls, emails, messages while on holidays unless is urgent matters.