Failing to attend work

There are frequent cases where an employee fails to come into work and fails to make contact to explain the reason for their absence but what can and what should an employer do about it?

The absence is technically unauthorised and unpaid, but you cannot assume that the employee has resigned merely because they do not turn up for work or make any form of contact directly or through a friend. You should contact the employee explaining that their absence is unauthorised and unpaid and they should make contact immediately upon receipt of the letter. You need to ensure that the letter is sent by recorded delivery to ensure receipt.

If, after having sent the letter and checking on receipt, there is still no contact you would normally require the employee to attend a disciplinary hearing. It is best to make some enquiries, where possible, to ensure that the employee is still living at the last known address you have on record.

If the employee fails to respond to that letter then a second should be sent rearranging the date and this time explaining that the employee’s actions amount to potential gross misconduct. The letter should go on to warn the employee that if they fail to attend or make contact, a decision will be taken in their absence and a potential outcome of the disciplinary hearing is termination of their employment.

Employers need to ensure that they do not act hastily and that they follow a fair procedure. The advice line is available to help with this type of problem and should always be contacted to ensure that there are no particular issues to consider.

For the full process download our disciplinary procedure template bundle found within the template downloads of your members area.