Absence policy

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Person-A

Free Member
Jan 14, 2018
9
3
Hi,
Could somebody please tell me whether there is a limit as to how many days off an employee takes before it triggers a disciplinary please. What would be considered to be fair?
I have several employees with poor attendance, examples include, car broken down, child ill, childcare failed to show up, need to take child to docs etc
Obviously in regards to children it is covered under our company policy that they can have this time off, but I do get a lot of silly excuses!
Many thanks
 

Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
There is no limit unless you specify one in your procedures.

The sensible way to handle it is to look at the pattern: car breaking down every other Monday indicates someone wanting some extra time after the weekend. Are they required to make up the time lost, are they just paid for it, or how do you handle it currently. Moving straight to disciplinary may be unnecessary if you just tweak your response a bit.

Childcare failure is covered by legislation, so you cannot take disciplinary action. Similarly, needing to take the child to the doctor unexpectedly, although if it is a planned appointment, leave should be booked. Dependent's leave, as it is called need not be paid. What is your current policy on this?
 
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Ashley_Price

Free Member
Feb 9, 2008
7,067
1,309
Lewes, Sussex
If you have staff taking time off on a regular basis, I think you need to have a semi-formal chat with them and find out if there is some underlying cause.

I had a member of staff who started taking Mondays off ill. It wasn't every week, but it was regular enough to be a concern. As it happened, we were Facebook friends and so I was able to see her posts, on the weekend, of how she was going out a lot, pubbing and drinking.

Unfortunately, for her, she had been given the wrong advice from a friend who had told her what she did on the weekend was "nothing to do" with her employers. However, it is when what they are doing on the weekend affects their attendance.

So, I had a quiet chat with her, explained that we had noticed this regular absences after she had had a rather "busy" (ahem!) weekend.

The absences stopped immediately.

Sometimes just having a chat with the staff member concerned is all it needs. It might be they think "Oh the boss doesn't care if I take another day off..." so show that you do care.
 
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So, I had a quiet chat with her, explained that we had noticed this regular absences after she had had a rather "busy" (ahem!) weekend.

The absences stopped immediately.

Sometimes just having a chat with the staff member concerned is all it needs. It might be they think "Oh the boss doesn't care if I take another day off..." so show that you do care.
Big +1 to this. By having a friendly but clearly formal chat you can nip this sort of bad behaviour in the bud and convert a potentially problem employee to a good one.

Also, if the friendly chat doesn't work you will then know that you have a problem employee. It will be clear that more formal disciplinary action needs to be taken and you will be less likely to fall into that trap that far too many employers do of letting bad behaviour slide leading to long term damage to the company.
 
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Ashley_Price

Free Member
Feb 9, 2008
7,067
1,309
Lewes, Sussex
Another reason for having an informal chat, is there maybe another, underlying cause, that the employee is embarrassed to talk about openly. They maybe having difficulties at home.

If the employee is a different gender to you, then perhaps ask someone of the same gender, that you trust, to have a chat with the employee.

This chat is best done in a quiet room, where the employee knows they won't be overheard and the discussion won't be interrupted. Make it a condition that while this meeting is going on you are only disturbed if the building is on fire or there is another real emergency. No other interruptions are allowed.
 
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