Employees' absence from duty is a fairly common occurrence causing a lot of problems to employers and other employees. If left unchecked it can spread like a virus.
It can become a perennial organizational problem.
What constitutes Absence from Duty
Absence is a failure by an employee to report for work during stipulated time or being away from the place of work for a certain period of time without any reasonable excuse.
An employment contract requires an employee to work during agreed hours for a certain number of days in a week or month. In return, the employer pays the worker a salary or wage as agreed.
A worker is not required to work -
employers allow employees to take time off due to the employee having
worked extended hours. This often occurs in the case of shift workers.
There are organizations who allow their employees to leave their work station for a couple of hours once in a while. This is to allow them to attend to personal or family problems. However, if proper control is not put in place, this can get out of control.
Absence from Duty: Types of Absence
In all types of absence - may include the absent worker who is untraceable - you must issue a show cause letter. Counseling is a necessary part of disciplinary rules and regulation.
Failure to take Action for Absence from Duty
If you fail to take prompt action whenever an employee misbehave such as when an employee is absent from duty, you will find that your position of authority is weakened.
Where you could have initiated disciplinary proceedings to terminate the employee's service, by condoning the wrong-doing for a long time, you are prevented from taking further action.
If you condone employees' continued misconducts or wrong
behavior, you are deemed to have implied that you allow these
shortcomings. In such cases, you can only give them further counseling.
What you can do is that the next time the same person commits similar misconducts, take immediate action. Issue the show cause letter after verifying the misconduct.
Familiarise yourself with existing policies, rules and procedures on employees' misconduct such as those relating to absence from duty.
Get to know all applicable legislation on
employee misconducts including absence.
And take due care in every disciplinary case. Seek legal advice when doubtful. This is important as the law is constantly changing.
Absence from a scheduled training program without reasonable excuse is also a misconduct.