Employee Takes Time Off Without Approval: How to Deal?

Consequences of Unapproved Time Off

When an employee takes time off without approval, it can have serious consequences for both the employee and employer. The employee may face disciplinary action or even termination, while the employer could face disruptions to their operations or decreased productivity.

Additionally, if the absence is related to a workplace issue, there may be legal ramifications that could result in costly litigation.

Steps Employers Can Take

If an employee takes time off without approval, there are several steps employers can take to address the situation:

  • Investigate the Absence: Before taking any action, it’s important to understand why the employee took the time off. In some cases, it may be due to a legitimate emergency or personal issue that should be accommodated.
  • Communicate with the Employee: Set up a meeting with your employee to discuss the situation and understand their perspective. Be empathetic and try to find a solution that addresses both their needs and the needs of the business.
  • Enforce Company Policies:

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What is unauthorised absence?

Unauthorised absence from work, also known as unapproved absence or absenteeism, happens when an employee misses work without permission or a valid reason, or fails to comply with the company’s absence reporting procedures. This can be anything from taking unapproved sick leave to simply not showing up for work without informing the employer.

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How does unauthorised absence affect the workplace?

Unauthorised absence can have a significant impact on the workplace, affecting productivity, staff morale, and team working. It can cause additional workload for colleagues who have to pick up the slack, affect deadlines and projects, and put the employer in an awkward position when dealing with clients.

What steps should employers take when an employee takes time off without approval?

If an employee takes time off without approval, the employer should follow their company’s absence policy, which should clearly state the steps to take in such situations. The employer should investigate the reasons behind the unauthorised absence, and if necessary, conduct a disciplinary hearing.

The employer should communicate with the employee about the Company’s expectations, and the consequences of absence without prior approval.

How can employers prevent unauthorised absence?

In order to prevent unauthorised absence, employers should have a clear absence reporting policy in place, setting out the procedure for reporting absence and the sanctions for failure to comply. Employers could also offer flexible working arrangements, where possible, to give employees a better work-life balance and to reduce stress and anxiety.

Why is unauthorised absence a problem?

Unauthorised absence can cause several problems for employers, including a decrease in productivity, additional workload for other employees, and a negative effect on overall team morale. It can also lead to decreased profitability, as well as potential legal issues if contracts or agreements are breached.

What are the potential reasons for unauthorised absence?

There are many reasons why an employee might take unapproved time off, including dealing with personal problems, being unhappy in the role, or suffering from workplace bullying. It is important to discover the cause of the absence and address any underlying issues where possible.

How should an employer handle unauthorised absence?

Employers should have clear policies in place regarding unauthorised absence, including how it should be reported and what disciplinary actions can be taken. When an employee takes unapproved time off, it is important to follow these policies and procedures, including setting up a meeting to discuss the situation with the employee.

If the behaviour continues, the employee may receive a written warning or, in severe cases, face dismissal from their job.

How can unauthorised absence be prevented?

One way to prevent unauthorised absence is to create a positive work environment that values and supports employees. This can include providing support for mental health and well-being, offering flexible working arrangements where possible, and providing clear communication and expectations.

It is also important to have clear policies in place and to consistently enforce them to discourage unauthorised absence.

What are the potential legal issues surrounding unauthorised absence?

If contracts or agreements are breached due to unauthorised absence, there may be legal implications for both the employer and employee. Employers should ensure that their policies and procedures are in compliance with employment law and seek legal advice where necessary.

Remember, addressing unauthorised absence promptly and effectively can prevent it from becoming a larger issue that can impact both the individual and the team as a whole.

How to deal with unauthorised absence

If an employee takes time off without approval, it can cause a lot of problems for the workplace. Here are steps employers can take to deal with unauthorised absence:

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Step 1: Address unauthorised absence in your employment policies

To prevent unauthorised absences, employers should have a clear policy in place outlining the procedure for requesting time off, and the consequences for unauthorised absence. The policy should also make it clear that unauthorised absence is considered misconduct and can result in disciplinary action.

This policy should be clearly communicated to all employees.

Step 2: Try to contact the employee

As soon as the employer becomes aware of the unauthorised absence, they should try to contact the employee to determine the reason for their absence. If the employer is unable to make contact with the employee, they should take note of this.

Step 3: Keep notes

The employer should keep detailed notes of all communication with the absent employee, including attempts to contact them, and any conversations that take place when they return to work. This will be useful later if any formal action is required.

Step 4: Send a warning letter and invite to a disciplinary meeting

If the employer has not been able to contact the employee and they return to work, the employer should send a written warning outlining the consequences of unauthorised absence, and invite them to a disciplinary meeting to discuss the issue further. This letter should clearly state the date, time and location of the meeting.

Step 5: Hold a disciplinary meeting

At the disciplinary meeting, the employer should discuss the reasons for the unauthorised absence and give the employee a chance to explain their actions. Depending on the severity of the absence, the employer may need to take disciplinary action, which could include suspension, demotion or termination.

The employee should be given the opportunity to respond to any allegations against them.

It is important for employers to follow their policy on dealing with unauthorised absence, if they have one, and to follow a fair disciplinary procedure. Dismissal for unauthorised absence should always be a last resort, and should only be used in cases of repeat or serious misconduct.

Dismissing an employee for unauthorised absence

Unauthorised absence from work is a serious offense that can result in disciplinary action or even dismissal from the job. It is important for employers to follow their policy on dealing with unauthorised absence, if they have one, and follow a fair disciplinary procedure.

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Dismissal for unauthorised absence should always be a last resort.

If an employee continues to take unauthorised absence despite warnings and disciplinary action, the employer may need to consider termination. However, this should be a last resort, and the employer should make sure they have followed all necessary procedures and given the employee adequate opportunity to improve their behaviour.

The biggest disciplinary action that the employer might take is dismissing an employee from their job. If the employee had a few misconducts with unauthorised absence, they might receive a written warning that lays out serious disciplinary actions if the behaviour continues.

To avoid the need for dismissal, employers can implement a range of strategies to help employees manage their attendance. These include creating an employee attendance policy to communicate what is expected of the employees for attendance, taking employee opinions into account, adopting a flexible work schedule, conducting employee engagement programs, starting employee wellness programs, giving rewards or incentives to employees, providing one to two weeks of paid time off, and keeping track of employee absences.

It is essential that employers communicate the reasons why attendance is important to the overall success of the organization. When an employee takes an unauthorised absence, it can disrupt productivity, affect staff morale, and put pressure on remaining employees to take over the missing employee’s workload.

In conclusion, employers should follow a fair disciplinary procedure and provide clear communication about attendance policy to avoid unauthorised absences. It is essential to take measures to manage employee attendance and avoid the need for dismissal for unauthorised absence.

By taking appropriate measures, employers can help to improve productivity and overall workplace satisfaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is unauthorised absence?

Unauthorised absence is when an employee fails to turn up for work without providing a valid reason, or without notifying their employer of their absence in accordance with the relevant workplace policy.

What disciplinary actions can an employer take for unauthorised absence?

If an employee had a few misconducts with unauthorised absence, they might receive a written warning that lays out serious disciplinary actions if the behaviour continues. The biggest disciplinary action that the employer might take is dismissing an employee from their job.

What are some ways to deal with employee absenteeism?

Some ways to deal with employee absenteeism include creating an employee attendance policy, taking employee opinions, adopting a flexible work schedule, doing employee engagement programs, starting employee wellness programs, giving rewards or incentives to employees, providing one to two weeks of paid time off, and keeping track of employee absences.

Should the employer contact the employee during unauthorised absence?

The employer should try to contact the absent worker as soon as possible. If they are still unable to make contact, when the employee returns to work, the employer should discuss the absence with the employee.

What should employers do if they decide to dismiss an employee for unauthorised absence?

Employers should follow their policy on dealing with unauthorised absence, if they have one, follow a fair disciplinary procedure step by step, and remember that dismissal should always be a last resort.

Dealing with Unauthorised Absence

Employers should follow their policy on dealing with unauthorised absence and adopt a fair disciplinary procedure. Dismissal should always be a last resort, and a series of warnings should be given before taking that step.

It’s essential to create an employee attendance policy to communicate expectations clearly, take employee opinions, and keep track of employee absences. Flexible work schedules, employee engagement, and wellness programs, as well as rewards and incentives, can help improve attendance.

Providing paid time off can also be an effective way to reduce unauthorised absence. Employers should keep in touch with workers on leave to ensure they don’t feel neglected.

References

Lora Turner
 

Lora Turner is an Experienced HR professional worked with the large organizations and holding 15 years of experience dealing with employee benefits. She holds expertise in simplifying the leave for the employee benefits. Contact us at: [email protected]