Keep reading for six tips on how to deal with an employee who goes AWOL...
What can you do when you think your employee's gone AWOL?
John hasn't shown up for work all week! And you have no idea if he's ever coming back to work!
You've tried getting hold of him to no avail.
What can you do when you think your employee has absconded?
Don't be too quick to decide that John's absconded or deserted with the intention never to return.
You first need to make sure he's actually absconded and then you have to follow the right process to dismiss him if he has...
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Six tips to deal with your employee who hasn't come back from holiday!
Tip#1: Calculate how many absenteeism days work out to be desertion
The amount of time that passes before you can assume he isn't coming back depends on your operational requirements. To work out what's reasonable, you must look at how long you can do without him before you need to hire a replacement.
Tip#2: Conduct a thorough investigation
If you think an employee's deserted you, you have to try find him and find out the reasons for him not being there.
Tip#3: Ask for proof
You're entitled to ask for proof. If your employee says he was in a coma, or injured and unable to contact you, ask for a doctor's note.
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Use these final three tips to make sure you stick to your legal obligations when it comes to absconsion
The employee definitely doesn't intend to return. You must hold a disciplinary hearing (in his absence) and if there's no acceptable excuse for his absenteeism, you can dismiss him. You still have to send the employee a telegram or notification of the hearing.
There's no way of finding out his intentions, you can dismiss him. Remember you have to have a hearing before dismissing him. Be prepared to reopen the enquiry if he returns. If this enquiry shows he didn't have a good enough reason to be absent, you can confirm the termination of his employment. If you find his absence was not his fault you should re-employ him.
Tip#5: Implement an absconsion policy
You must implement an absconsion policy designed to protect your company. This'll ensure you do everything within reason to see if he intends returning, before you consider dismissing him.
Tip#6: Keep a record of employees' contact details
Keep your employee's contact details, residential address and next of kin contact details on his personnel file. Update these annually. This'll ensure you have the correct details if you need to contact him. Make it all employees' responsibility to update their contact details if they move house etc. If they don't, you're still right in delivering any correspondence to the old address you've been given.
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Until next week,