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Do you ever have those moments when you are not sure how to manage an employee who just doesn't turn up for work?

Are you unintentionally harassing them by trying to find out where they are? Are you concerned that something might have happened to them?

There's a fine line between being a responsible employer, coming across as overbearing and not wanting to compromise the working relationship with your employee.

It is important for you to know that as a responsible employer you do have a duty of care to ensure that under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 which states that "it shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees".

What this means is if an employee doesn't turn up for work that in the interests of their health & safety, and in line with their contractual obligation to their employer, the employer has a duty of care to check whether they will be coming into work. After all, how do you know that the employee hasn't been involved in a car accident?

On checking whether an employee is coming into work, and their reason is purely that they are either running late or they are feeling sick, to make them aware of your reporting procedure which is normally provided within an Attendance Policy which would address both sickness and lateness reporting.

So what if you can't make contact with the employee? Well the first step would be to leave a voicemail message for the employee advising them that you are concerned about their whereabouts and asking them to return your call asap?

What if you still haven't heard from the employee by Day 2? We would suggest that you write to the employee a letter of concern asking them to contact you, giving them a date by which you expect a response.

If you still don't receive a response by the requested date, then you would be well within your rights to initiate disciplinary proceedings in the normal way.

We hope that you've found this information useful. To find out more, why not check out our fantastic software HR Pulse - 'At the heart of your business'

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19/07/2017