When asked, HR managers said that attendance issues accounted for seventy-five percent of the problems they face. As attendance issues can often lead to other issues as well, more discipline is taken against this offense than any other.
- When they are entitled to use their leave
- What documents are required to apply for leave
- How many days in advance an employee must apply
- Any special provisions as to when they are not allowed to take leave
- That the responsibility of requesting and documenting leave is solely theirs
- That the responsibility and authority to grant a leave request is yours
Ensure you follow some absolutes
- Everyone who does not call in an absence should receive discipline, especially if they take leave knowing their presence was critical for that day
- Every leave must be documented in advance
- Every use of sick leave other than the company’s minimum or pursuant to FMLA should be accompanied by medical documentation
- Every employee who demonstrates leave abuse should first be given clear notice of your concern and their responsibility
- Every employee whose leave abuse continues past said notice should be placed on leave restriction
- Never discuss an employee’s leave issues with peers or subordinates. Only discuss with someone in your direct line of management, HR advisor, or attorney
Be sure to act promptly and decisively to solve these problems. Attendance problems tend to fester and not get better on their own. Start with the least severe, counseling with a same day follow-up memo documenting the discussion and move on as needed until the issue is resolved.