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Has an employee taken leave without your approval? Here's what you can do

by , 04 August 2015
Your employee Rachel has over 50 days' of leave due to her. A few weeks ago, she asked you if she could take some leave and you agreed to it.

Rachel wanted to take all 50 days of her leave. Because she's working on a client contract, you explained to her that she can only take 30 days at this stage. She agreed to this.

After this agreement, Rachel went on leave but she stayed home for an extra five days. As a result, you phoned her to ask where she is. Rachel said she'd be back at work within the next day and you agreed to this. You said you'd arrange to give her an extra five days of leave.

But then, Rachel didn't arrive back at work when promised. So you phoned her again, only for her to tell you that she wants to take all 50 days of leave she's entitled to. But this wasn't the original agreement. Here's what you should do in a situation like this...

Notify the employee that she's taken unauthorised leave
Because Rachel took leave on days you didn't allow her to, she's taken unauthorised leave.
 
In order to resolve this, you need to contact her. It's important that you advise Rachel in writing that she's currently absent without permission.
 
In your letter, also state that you'll take it she isn't returning to work if she doesn't return within 24 hours after receipt of your letter.
 
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What to do if the employee does and doesn't return to work
If Rachel does return to work after receiving your letter, you can take disciplinary action against her for unauthorised leave and failing to comply with your company's rules and regulations.
 
If she doesn't return, you must begin with a desertion procedure.


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