If there's no valid reason - Unauthorised absence and lateness

If there's no valid reason

An employer might find that an employee is off work or late for work with no valid reason.

The employer should follow their policy on how to handle this, if they have one.

They should try to handle the situation informally, if it's appropriate. This can help stop unauthorised absences or lateness in the future.

Employers should speak with their employee to:

If the absence is a disciplinary issue

An employer might treat the absence or lateness as a disciplinary issue, for example if:

  • the absence or lateness has serious consequences
  • the employee is repeatedly late or absent without a valid reason and they're making no attempts to improve their behaviour

Employers should:

  • follow their policy on dealing with unauthorised absence and lateness, if they have one
  • follow a fair disciplinary procedure

Follow our disciplinary procedure step by step

Dismissal for unauthorised absence

An employer might decide to dismiss an employee for unauthorised absence or lateness.

Dismissal should always be a last resort. Before making this decision, an employer should follow a fair disciplinary procedure.

Contact the Acas helpline

Contact the Acas helpline for more advice if you're:

  • an employer considering dismissing an employee for unauthorised absence or lateness
  • an employee being dismissed for unauthorised absence or lateness
Last reviewed