I have had a number of calls recently about employees who do appear to be genuinely ill but who have not followed the correct reporting procedure for their absence. Many of you are frustrated that the employee has let you down, causing problems with covering their work and setting a precedent for other staff who chose not to attend work.
You are still able to take disciplinary action – you are not disputing that the employee was ill, but you are taking action against their failure to communicate with you about their absence. Please ensure that staff are fully aware of the procedure for reporting any absence to the company. Do they know when they need to phone and who they need to phone? Do staff know the requirements for providing Doctors certificates. Is it clear to them that it is their responsibility of to contact you and not for you to contact them? Do you have a policy about reporting absence?
Steps to take.
Although it is the employee's responsibility to inform you of any unscheduled absence, should they not attend work and you not hear from them it is advisable for you to call that employee to find out more about the situation. Ask fellow staff whether they know where the employee is or if they have any information about his absence. At the very least send an SMS instructing the staff member to contact you or return to work by a specific date and time to explain their actions. Keep a record of any attempt to contact your staff member as you may need to rely on that later.
Call me if you need assistance drafting an Attendance Management Policy.