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What is Unauthorised Absence?

Unauthorised absence is the failure to turn up at work without just cause and includes not complying with a company’s policy for reporting sickness.   Unauthorised absence is also known as absenteeism and is both unpredictable and costly to companies.

Monitoring and controlling unauthorised absence can be difficult for managers and supervisors.  There are, after all, legitimate reasons for missing work, especially if a company does not require a written absence note from a doctor.  Nor does a company necessarily want sick, contagious employees attending work (a problem known as presenteeism).  Entire divisions can feel the effects of this issue and it becomes that much more serious in jobs that involve food handling.

The Effects of Unauthorised Absence

Habitual unauthorised absence cost UK businesses billion of pound each year.  The negative effects also spread to coworkers, who may need to cover extra duties.  This can lead to frustration, lack of engagement and low staff morale.

Management Solutions to Unauthorised Absence

Management is key in preventing unauthorised absence.  The first step is for companies is to have a clear absence policy that includes a protocol for reporting sickness and the terms in which employees in certain professions should not attend work.

The next step is to enforce that policy.  Many companies will include sick policies in their working contracts but will rarely train managerial staff in how to effectively and consistently monitor and enforce the policy.  This puts the company at risk of legal trouble, because employees can argue that the company’s sick policy is arbitrarily enforced due to preference or prejudice.

If an employee has a certain number of unauthorised absences, there needs to be a management protocol in place for addressing it directly with the employee.  In some cases there are sufficient reasons for unauthorised absence.  However, if it is becoming a pattern, it’s important for companies to respond swiftly and appropriately.

The Holiday Scheduler is one way of monitoring absences so that employers can respond to them in a fair and consistent manner.  It will also enable employees to see how many absences they have accrued and allow them to self-monitor their attendance.

For more information on our Holiday Scheduler, contact MTIS today.