Dealing with Unauthorised Absence


This guidance applies to all employees of the Council. It does not apply to any
casual or agency worker where a contract of employment does not exist.

When is Absence Unauthorised?

An absence will be treated as unauthorised if an employee:

  • Fails to comply with the Council’s sickness absence reporting procedure (or fails to provide the required certification of sickness absence)
  • Fails to attend work without notification or explanation
  • Fails to return from authorised leave without notification or explanation
  • Is absent from work for any other reason without permission
  • Has been refused a request for authorised leave, but then fails to attend work without notification or explanation on the day(s) requested
  • Has been absent due to sickness, has complied with the absence reporting and certification procedure and then stops submitting Fit Notes – in this situation the absence will be treated as unauthorised from the first day of uncertified absence

Unauthorised absence is a serious matter which may be considered under the Council’s disciplinary policy and procedure as a failure to comply with the contractual obligation to attend work or to provide good and sufficient reason if unable to attend work or to follow the absence reporting procedure.

Service Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the manager to monitor employees’ attendance at work, to respond to requests for annual leave and Special Leave, and to contact employees who are absent without leave on the first day of the employee’s absence or where a Fit Note has not been submitted within a reasonable period of time.  The manager is also responsible for contacting the employee’s next of kin (if appropriate) and for notifying Payroll in writing to stop pay with effect from the first day of unauthorised absence (if appropriate).

People and Organisation can provide the contact details for the employee and their next of kin/emergency contact to the manager.  People and Organisation will also action any requests to stop an employee’s pay.

How to Deal with Unauthorised Absence

 When to Contact People and Organisation

You should contact People and Organisation after 5 working days have passed and the employee has still not been in touch.  We will advise you of the best course of action and can provide you with template letters to send to the employee.

Relevant Documents and Links

click here to return to the main Employee Relations page.

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