Unpaid leave is a term used to describe a period of time that an employee spends out of work without payment but still retaining their employment status. Generally speaking, unpaid leave is granted at the employee’s request on the basis that they return to work by a specified date. The granting of such leave is at the employer’s discretion and this period of absence may take the form of a career break, compassionate leave, or bereavement leave, etc. Accordingly, such leave should be viewed as discretionary leave rather than a right or entitlement.