A mate of mine (i.e. me) recently had the unexpected treat of needing to take some time off work to look after the other half after she'd been into hospital for an operation. (Fairly prompt, as she's a cancer carrying asylum seeker, daily mail readers take note) I work for a faceless multinational blah blah, and I approached my boss/"mentor" (just to put you in the mood) about some unpaid compassionate leave (5 days) in relation to the situation. The answer was no, and that in future I'd have to be more careful how I spent my holiday time. (Which it would seem would include time off for the unexpected) I emailed HR, in particular our departments contact, and asked about buying days off (perfectly legit I hasten to add) and was told I could only do this at the start of the year. However, an email conversation developed, and I was asked why I wanted to buy time off. I explained, and was told I just had to see the boss I was working for currently, explain the situation, and he'd either bin it or give it the thumbs up. My boss said ok no problems, and I think excellent, problem solved! Get an email the next day from one of the uber-bosses, get a rollocking very that medium, get one on the phone, and then get the interview without coffee. Apparently HR isnât allowed to make such decisions!!