Employees have a duty to work the hours required of them, with the substantial amount of public holidays during this time of the year, there has been an increase of employee absences without good reason, leave or permission.
Many employers are unsure how to deal with such absences appropriately. Firstly, it should be noted that employee absence and the failure to inform the employer of said absence are two separate offences. Should an employee be absent, even with good reason, and not inform the employer of his absence, the employee may be guilty of misconduct.
Regarding the cases where employees are absent without good reason, leave or permission, many employers simply deduct annual leave days retrospectively. Other employers issue appropriate warnings for employee absences. Some employers do see such absences as unpaid leave and issue appropriate warnings to the employees.
Many will feel that the last mentioned option is double punishment. An employee does only become entitled to payment for a day’s work in terms of his / her specific conditions of employment. If the employee has worked that day, taking into account provisions such a sick -, annual -, family responsibility- or study leave. Over and above the entitlement to payment, the employee is not allowed to contravene the provisions of the code of conduct in the workplace.
In summary, employers are entitled to view the above absences as unpaid leave and issue the appropriate warnings for absence (and failure to inform).
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