As the summer approaches and employees start thinking about taking time off, one question we often get asked is what should you do if you refuse annual leave but the employee still takes the time off anyway.
Now you don’t need us to tell you that the summer period is peak season for staff wanting to take time out of the office. The kids are off school. People are thinking about a few weeks in the sun, and the holiday requests start to come rolling in.
Any savvy business owner knows it’s ESSENTIAL to have a robust policy in place to manage leave requests and ensure that they’re handled fairly and efficiently. This mean you fulfil your duties as a responsible and fair employer, and also make sure that the businesses continues to function and targets are met.
But what happens when you’re forced to decline a request for leave, and then the employee in question fails to turn up for work anyway? The initial reaction might be to think that they’re taking the Mick, and that it’s time to roll out your usual disciplinary procedures. In some cases, that might indeed be appropriate. But let’s not jump to conclusions though. Take a step back for a moment, and look at the full picture.
If your employee has called in sick in line with your absence policy, then of course it might be an entirely genuine coincidence, and it wouldn’t be advisable to wade into the situation full of accusations.
If, however, your employee simply doesn’t turn up to work and provides no reasonable explanation, then it’s a different kettle of fish all together. In these circumstances, you should launch an investigation to establish whether the absence was for genuine reasons. If you determine that it’s a disciplinary issue, then your usual policies and procedures should be followed.
Of course, these situations are much easier to handle if you already have systems in place. No one expects things to go wrong, and when you’re managing the day-to-day running of your business, it’s easy to neglect the finer details of your HR needs – until you’re faced with a situation that you know could escalate into a disaster if it’s not handled properly.
You’d be amazed to know just how many business owners overlook things like this until an issue arises. You’re certainly NOT ALONE, and we’re not here to judge. But we can help you to get things in order. Whether it’s as a precautionary measure to save you from headaches in the future, or you’ve found yourself facing a problem that needs to be handled SHARPISH.