You don’t need us to tell you that the summer period is peak season for staff members wanting to take some 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.
All business owners know that it’s essential to have a robust policy in place to manage leave requests and ensure that they’re handled fairly and efficiently, so you can fulfil your duties as a responsible and fair employer, and also make sure that organisational requirements and targets are being fulfilled.
But what happens when you’re forced to decline a request for leave (remember to keep a record of the leave you have declined as well as the leave accepted) but they take the leave anyway? The initial reaction might be to think that they’re taking the Michael, and that it’s time to roll out your usual disciplinary procedures. In some cases, that might indeed be appropriate. Let’s not jump to conclusions though. Take a step back, 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. 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, policies and procedures 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 provisions. 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.
Either way, give us a call today on 0191 3055188 and we can arrange an initial no-obligation consultation to discuss where you are right now, and what you need to do to move forward towards better peace of mind.