Staff wages are the single largest costs to employers and it’s important to feel these costs are worth paying. Bosses need to ensure their employees work every day they possibly can within their contracted hours to get the most out of them and push their business forward.
It’s understandable that workers need to take time off occasionally, whether it’s as a result of illness or special circumstances that cannot be anticipated. As an employer, you need to be sympathetic to your staff’s needs and requirements to take a few days leave from time to time. Employees have a statutory right to take time off in response to certain personal circumstances. Such situations may be if a family member has suddenly been taken ill and a staff member needs to visit them in hospital urgently, or a breakdown in childcare arrangements. There is no set amount of time that may be taken off for this reason but an employer must be reasonable. Time taken off for these rare occasions is unpaid.
Some staff, however, can take it too far when they are fully aware of their right to take time off for personal circumstances. They can exploit the privilege given by their employer and take advantage of kind-hearted or lenient bosses. If employees know that their boss is unlikely to notice their absence if they sneak off for a couple of days, they may well do so for no good reason. This is costly for employers and leads to a far less productive workforce overall.
It’s important to have a meeting with an employee once they return, to establish the full reason for their absence and confirm it was legitimate. If employees know their boss will not tolerate any false excuses or unacceptable absences, they will be far less likely to abuse the system and only take time off when they really need to.
For any further information regarding the issues above, please call our Advice Service on 0844 892 2488.