Having a policy
Employers should have a policy that covers unauthorised absence and lateness so that they can:
- make clear to employees what counts as unauthorised absence
- handle unauthorised absence and lateness in a consistent way
- set out what happens to an employee's pay when they do not turn up for work or they're late
- use it to train managers
Making an unauthorised absence and lateness policy flexible
Employers should make their policy on unauthorised absence and lateness flexible. Policies that are not flexible might cause more absence.
Example of a policy that is not flexible causing more absence
Sam is running late for work because their train is delayed. Their organisation's policy is not flexible. It states employees will get a warning for being late or having an unauthorised absence. Sam decides to take the day off work because they know they'll get a warning either way.
Example of a flexible policy reducing absence
Sam is running late for work because their train is delayed. Their organisation's policy is flexible about lateness and unauthorised absence. They contact their employer to let them know they'll be half an hour late because of the train delay. Sam makes up this time at the end of the day.