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How to deal with an employee who goes ahead with a holiday when annual leave has not been authorised

Author: David Jones


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  • Ensure that any policy on annual leave states that taking unauthorised annual leave constitutes a disciplinary offence and may lead to dismissal.
  • Warn the employee of the possible consequences of going on holiday where permission for leave has been refused if you suspect that they intend to do so.
  • Make all reasonable attempts to contact the employee and ascertain the reason for the absence before jumping to any conclusions.
  • Discuss the matter with the employee on their return before deciding whether or not to begin disciplinary proceedings.
  • Ensure that proper disciplinary procedures are followed before imposing a disciplinary sanction against the employee.
  • Ensure that any disciplinary sanction is appropriate.
  • Consider having a contractual provision authorising deductions from pay in respect of any unauthorised leave.