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Cut down on absenteeism by treating it as a disciplinary offence today!

by , 27 May 2013
It's usually school children who play truant - not so in Trinidad and Tobago. The most recent report from Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Education shows that an estimated 10% of the nation's teachers are guilty of 'delinquent absenteeism'. But the problem isn't limited to Trinidad and Tobago, as employees push their luck for an extra day off across the globe. Here's what to do if you notice a sudden spike in absenteeism in your business...

3 Absenteeism excuses you can penalise employees for

Excuse#1: 'I went to the clinic, but they were too busy to give me a sick note. I wasn't feeling well and I didn't want to wait for nurse to write a note.'
Excuse#2: 'I ran out of airtime and I couldn't buy any because I didn't have money.'
Excuse#3: 'I had to attend my aunt's cousin's daughter's wedding ceremony in Rustenburg. I only found out about it at the last minute.'
You've most probably heard these excuses, and many more, one too many times…

Find out how to reject these excuses today
A report by Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Education is being used as a basis for the country's Teaching Service Commission to investigate 1,443 teachers on cases of absenteeism that could result in disciplinary action, says OpenEqualFree
In Trinidad and Tobago, absenteeism is only said to begin after teachers have taken the 28 days of paid leave they receive each year. 
While some have been absent an additional 100 days per year, others are chronically late. 
Trinidad and Tobago's not alone on this count either, with truant teachers in South Africa absent for close to 7.5 million days last year, according to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in February this year, says FSPBusiness.
If you're facing a similar problem with absenteeism in your business, you'll be pleased to know that you can legally dismiss a frequently absent employee for misconduct.
Here's what to do if you have employees who are frequently absent…
Abuse of sick leave is the most common form of absenteeism in corporate South Africa.
If any employee has taken seven or more days of random absence within a year, you're entitled to call a meeting with him to discuss his absence and corrective action for his behaviour.
If the situation doesn't improve, for example the employee continues to take sick leave without being able to provide a medical certificate as acceptable proof of illness, you can institute disciplinary action starting with a verbal warning.
This could be all it takes to scare your employee back onto the straight and narrow.
If not and the absenteeism continues, you can give him a written warning, followed by a formal disciplinary hearing, says FSPBusiness.
Absenteeism in the form of desertion also counts as a disciplinary offence!
And remember that if your employee's absent from work or fails to return to work after an authorised period, such as annual leave or sick leave this counts as desertion. 
'Desertion amounts to a breach of the employee's fundamental and basic obligations in terms of his employment contract,' says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
So if there's a lack of authorisation or permission for your employee's absence, he hasn't contacted the company in any way to provide an explanation for his absence, and his intention is never to return to work, this also counts as misconduct that you'll need to deal with as a disciplinary offence, says FSPBusiness
By making your disciplinary action procedure clear to employees, you can cut down on the amount of unauthorised absenteeism that's affecting your business' bottom line.


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