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Absence from work


Absence from work is when;

  • You don’t turn up at work or tell anyone that you are not coming in.
  • You are away from work without permission (HR calls this unauthorised absence).
  • You have permission to be away from work repeatedly (HR calls this authorised short-term absence with or without a medical condition).
  • You have permission to be away from work for a long time (HR calls this long-term absence).

Each of these is dealt with differently under your employers absence or sick leave policy and procedure. S98 (2)(a) Employment Rights Act 1996 makes capability a potentially fair reason for dismissing an employee. Absence from work falls under “capability”.  Every dismissal has to be for a potentially fair reason under s.98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA). The potentially fair reasons for sickness absence dismissal are;

A prolonged unauthorised absence from work can lead to your dismissal for frustration of contract or abandonment of employment (depending on the reason for your absence). Your employer can dismiss you because they need to get work done and you are not there to carry out the work or you are too ill to do so. Your employer will have to go through particular steps to dismiss you for absence.

Updated: 01/03/2020

Best of the Web

GOV.UK – Taking sick leave

ACAS – Unauthorised Absence


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