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How to deal with unauthorised absence

Author: Claire Birkinshaw


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  • Start by making all reasonable efforts to contact the employee to ascertain their position.
  • Ensure that you keep a record of all attempts to contact the employee.
  • Be aware that an assumed resignation by virtue of the employee's conduct in failing to report for work is likely to be held by an employment tribunal to comprise an express dismissal.
  • Unauthorised absence without good cause is a disciplinary offence, so deal with it accordingly.
  • Where you are aware in advance that unauthorised absence is likely to result from a request for annual leave that has been turned down, write to the employee to warn them of the possible consequences if they go on holiday regardless.