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If contact cannot be made, the employer should discuss the absence with the employee when they come back to work. Interviewing the Subject. Unauthorised absence is a matter of misconduct. Try phoning and emailing, and if you fail to reach them within a few hours and you continue to be concerned, you can try to reach their emergency contact. If it is unclear whether someone is rightfully absent, finding evidence can be difficult. 5. Earlier this year an Indian Civil Servant was dismissed after having failed to turn up to work for 25 years (that really is 25 years! Reluctance to provide medical evidence or attend appointments. Checking how your workplace deals with absence, Time off because of a mental health issue, further investigations for possible disciplinary action, keeps taking sick leave or being late (some HR systems have ‘trigger’ points to keep track of attendance records). If you suspect one or more of your employees are in breach of your policies, call the team at EJM Investigations today. In these cases there may be no obligation on employers to pay wages, although statutory sick pay may be due. If the absence is up to and including seven calendar days, you will need to complete a self-certification form (form CHRIS/62) on your return to work. Here is the doctor’s certificate you submitted to cover this absence. One example given in the judgement was a report on his unauthorised absence dated January 2014 which was not sent to him until May. The employer should try to contact the absent employee as soon as possible, including using any emergency contact they have. Many thanks for your patience. For this reason, every workplace should have its own absence policy, so it's important to check this. info@citrushr.com 0333 014 3888 Start your free 14-day trial. You can do this through clear, well-written employment policies that outline your expectations around requesting and reporting leave and absence. Unauthorised absence is when someone does not come to work and gives no reason for their absence or does not contact their employer. If they fail to attend this meeting, it’s recommended to invite them to a second, rescheduled meeting. Investigation questions for unauthorised absence. SAMPLE – Unauthorized Leave and Written Warning [Date] [Name] [Address] Via [Hand Delivery OR Certified Mail No._____] Dear [Mr./Ms. If the employee cannot provide good reason for the absence and lack of contact, the employer might consider further investigations for possible disciplinary action. These questions The following sample interview questions are presented in an effort to assist investigators propound questions to witnesses. However, this should only be done after an investigation has been carried out which may involve obtaining a medical report and considering whether reasonable adjustments could have been made. Posts on social media. Shaw is a partner in […] How to handle an employee off with work-related stress, if they have booked the time off as holiday or to attend an appointment, if they have contacted you on the morning of their absence to report sickness. If you need help, call our helpline on 0300 123 1190, Please tell us why the information did not help, Supporting mental health in the workplace, Dealing with a problem raised by an employee, I cannot find the information I'm looking for. What an absence policy should cover. It is crucial to your investigation that you maintain consistency by asking every witness the same questions. The unauthorized behavior should be clearly described with specifics. Get in touch on info@citrushr.com or give us a call on 0333 014 3888 to find out more about how we can help your business with friendly, expert HR support. HR Interview Questions … If the absence continues start by investigating the issue. Whatever the case, remember that the employee must justify the absence and in addition, you must hear his story and check all the facts before you impose disciplinary action or sanction. The bottom line is that an unauthorised absence is a disciplinary offence. Deciding on the action required. Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest advice for employers and employees. Last Name]: The purpose of this letter is to notify you that your absence beginning at [time] on [day], [date] through [time] on [day], [date] is being charged as unauthorized leave. How did you try to respond to it? Work colleagues may well know where he is and social media is often a good indicator as to where someone is and what an absentee has been doing. The facts The employee in this matter was employed by the employer as a chef. Please don’t rely on it as legal or other professional advice as that is not what we intend. The employee can in fact now be charged with unauthorized absenteeism, gross insubordination, and refusing to obey reasonable and lawful instructions. To get a handy list of investigation interview questions, download the free cheat sheet on the Top 20 Questions to Ask in Investigation Interviews. Can I dismiss them? Registered in England. An absence … Unauthorized absence from work. Unauthorised absence costs British employers billions every year in lost working hours and earnings. However, if you do this, you should make sure you conduct a full investigation into the absence and implement a full disciplinary procedure. Patterns of absence, such as the same day each week. In contrast, some examples of authorised absence are: The first step in managing unauthorised absence is avoiding it happening to begin with. The main questions you’ll need to ask when investigating an employee who’s been absent without authorisation are: If they can provide good reasons to these questions, and this isn’t a regular occurrence, reiterate your policy and inform them that they must notify you of future absences. You should not assume anything until told. Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help your business with friendly expert HR Support or with our powerful HR software. This is the vital part of conducting an investigation meeting. Examples of unauthorised absence would include failing to turn up for work without good reason and failing to follow the company's rules for reporting in sick (provided that those rules are not too onerous and are applied in a reasonable way). Hi, Finad attached herewith the warning letter to be issued for the employee on the unauthorised absence from his/er services. The employer might consider formal action if their employee: Select the statement you most agree with: Please do not include any personal information, for example email address or phone number. regards Nishu Bhatia 4th August 2007 From India, Gurgaon. The content of this blog is for general information only. My employee has not returned from planned annual leave. I am under investigation for unauthorised absence (which I strongly deny). An absence policy should make clear exactly what's expected from both the employer and employee if the employee needs to take time off work. One day of unauthorised absence is unlikely to warrant dismissal, but if an employee continues to take days of unauthorised absence, and you have followed your disciplinary procedure for misconduct, holding formal meetings and issuing written warnings, then it may be appropriate to proceed to dismissal. For example, the employee was absent for three days without permission and the dates listed. This invite should notify them that if they fail to attend, the meeting is likely to go ahead regardless and a decision may be made in their absence. If the employee does attend the disciplinary meeting and is able to provide a good reason for the unauthorised absence, you should reiterate the process for reporting absences, inform them that a file note will be added to their employee record and if there are further instances of taking unauthorised absence then you may consider further formal action. Effective listening will help an investigator get a better understanding of the people they interview and their points of view. The reprimand should be stated in the first paragraph. Download the free cheat sheet: Top 20 Questions to Ask in an Investigation Interview. The main questions you’ll need to ask when investigating an employee who’s been absent without authorisation are: Why were you absent? I … Did you get the information you need from this page? Unauthorised absence includes poor time keeping. ). What if they’d previously requested this day as annual leave, had it declined, but decided to take the day off anyway? And evidence is needed to take subsequent steps. Full details of the absence dates and attempts made to contact the employee should be included within the letter. For example: “You failed tofollow our absence reporting procedure, didn’t you?” Unauthorised absence from work disciplinary procedure. What should you do? Where the absence relates to an underlying medical condition or serious illness, a formal notification period may be appropriate which should be determined based upon the medical condition, likely return to work date and the ability of service to sustain the employee’s continued absence. If the employee is struggling to attend work Unauthorised absence example 4: failure to return from annual leave. Our HR consultants can help guide you through your employee issues. © 2020 citrusHR. Make sure that you include unauthorised absence in the list of offences that count as employee misconduct in your staff handbook. Whether or not an employer can lawfully dismiss an employee for unauthorised absence depends on the reason for, and length of, the absence and the procedure that the employer follows. All rights reserved. If you require professional advice, please get in touch. Whether the absence may be due to an injury at work or is otherwise perceived to be related to work; and; Details about any outstanding or urgent work that requires attention in your absence. Company Number 08452449. A plethora of reports and investigations were prepared and undertaken by or at its request. I have yet to be given any details of a disciplinary but I know my boss is looking to proceed down this route. However, what did not happen during this period was any real communication with Akinwunmi. If the pattern of behaviour becomes repetitive, however, even after you’ve cautioned them against it, you might want to progress to disciplinary action. I no longer want to work for this company, as I feel the trust has been breached between us. Take the stress out of HR with help from our friendly experts and easy to use HR software. If you’re unable to reach them via phone or email after two days and are unable to speak with their emergency contact or get a useful update from them, the next step is to send them a warning letter for unauthorised absence. If you’re unsure if an employee’s absence should be considered unauthorised, and whether to begin disciplinary action against them, our HR consultants can help. If the employee cannot provide good reason for the absence and lack of contact, the employer might consider further investigations for possible disciplinary action. These Q&As address the legalities of handling unauthorised absence, short and long-term leave, seeking medical evidence and the potential repercussions of implementing disciplinary procedures and dismissing employees who are on long-term absence. We’ll explore the solutions to the issues that arise around unauthorised absence in this post. You can find more detail on this in our Terms of Website Use. Assuming there is no contact or relevant information received by the end of the second day it would be reasonable to invite the employee to a disciplinary hearing (with sufficient notice) to answer the allegation of unauthorised absence. If either the complainant or accuser involved in the misconduct allegation is away for a planned absence or holiday, HR should ensure that interviews are scheduled promptly after the person’s return, and the reasons for the delay should be documented. In most cases, the subject of an investigation will be interviewed after the complainant has already been questioned. unauthorised absence from work and, in particular, the important issues of how cultural diversity impacts on the workplace and how employers should deal with the issue. K.Ravi. Records should be kept of the dates the employee is absent and an investigation carried out. Why did you not call in to notify us of your absence? But what if you still can’t get hold of them? Triggers for absence, such as being invited to a disciplinary meeting. These questions should serve as tools to help the investigator develop an interview around the emerging facts of the case, and should not replace other thoughtful and well-reasoned questions. 2. Unauthorised absence is when an employee doesn’t turn up for work as expected and has not provided a reason for their absence. Ask the right HR investigation questions Misconduct investigations are never easy for any HR manager. Tip-offs from colleagues. To make the job a little easier, attorney Jennifer Brown Shaw offers her suggestions for how to brief and question the complaining employee, the accused employee, and witnesses. So it's up to you to deal with it. Without sound evidence, you must avoid making any assumptions. Unfortunately we cannot respond to individual requests for information. Even if you’re sceptical of their explanation, unless you can categorically prove that it’s false – for example, if an employee posts about what a great time they had that day on a social networking site, or was seen out watching an event or celebrating –you should still accept it. In many cases, when an employee is confronted with evidence of unauthorised absence they will resign without dispute, eliminating the requirement for disciplinary and tribunal procedures. The main questions that you need to ask after a proper investigation and taking into account any mitigating circumstances are "what sanction is appropriate" and "how have similar cases been treated". It’s 10am and you’ve still not seen or heard anything from your employee. if they are on maternity, paternity or shared parental leave. Typical actions that an investigator should follow include: have a list of pre-planned questions to follow and tick off When did you first try to respond to it? Keep an accurate record of your attempts to contact the employee, including times of calls and any voicemails left. It is possible to dismiss fairly an employee for either repeated short-term absence or a long-term absence. We'll get to the bottom of the issue quickly, efficiently and confidentially - call today. Why did you not call in to notify us of your absence. Some other suggested questions: Here is the 5-day letter we sent you, why didn’t you respond to it? I hope that this helps. If contact cannot be made, the employer should discuss the absence with the employee when they come back to work. If you have reason to believe an employee has deliberately lied to you to take a period of unauthorised leave, you may wish to proceed with a disciplinary and even consider an unauthorised absence dismissal. It should inform the employee that the letter is a formal warning that may result in further action if the situation continues. Please note that the doctor did not sign it, did you actually see a doctor? And always ask open-ended instead of leading questions. Mr. XXXXXXX, It has been observed from your attendance record that you remained absent from work without intimation with effect from 03-06-2006. Potentially, yes – but you need to follow a fair procedure and give the employee the chance to explain their absence. What rights do you have as an employer to manage this sort of behaviour? If his absence isn’t pre-booked and he doesn’t give you a reason for the absence it is deemed to be unauthorised. Whilst the original allegation may have been for unauthorised absence from work, if further evidence came about as a result of the investigation, or unrelated to it, the employer can still consider taking matters further for these additional issues. Explain that repeatedly failing to do so could lead to disciplinary action. Some time earlier … But they’re necessary and no one’s going to escape that duty for long. This letter should invite them to a disciplinary meeting (you will need to provide 48 hours’ notice of this). If you’ve not heard from an employee within the time frame specified in your policy, and they’re not on authorised leave, it’s appropriate for you to try to contact them. Your initial response will likely be one of concern, and you’ll be eager to check in with them to make sure they’re okay. 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