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Unauthorised absence policy template

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Our Unauthorised Absence Policy Template tackles absenteeism, enforces accountability, and maintains a productive work culture.

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What is an Unauthorised absence policy?

An unauthorised absence policy is a set of guidelines and procedures that an organisation establishes to manage situations where employees fail to show up for work without permission or fail to comply with the organisation's policies and procedures for requesting time off.

The policy typically outlines the expectations for attendance, the consequences of unauthorised absences, and the process for addressing and resolving such situations. It may also specify how an employee's pay and benefits may be impacted by unauthorised absences and any disciplinary actions that may be taken.

The policy may require employees to notify their supervisor or manager as soon as possible if they are unable to report to work, and to provide a valid reason for their absence. It may also include provisions for employees who have an extended absence due to illness or injury, and who may be required to provide medical documentation to support their absence.

In cases where an employee does not show up for work without permission or valid reason, the unauthorised absence policy may provide for disciplinary action, such as a verbal or written warning, suspension, or termination. The policy may also include a process for appealing a disciplinary action or for requesting a review of the decision.

Overall, an unauthorised absence policy is designed to ensure that employees are aware of the organisation's expectations for attendance and the consequences of failing to comply with these expectations. It can help to promote a culture of accountability and responsibility among employees, and ensure that the organisation is able to maintain productivity and meet its business objectives.

Unauthorised absence policy template
unauthorised absence policy template

What legal and best practice aspects should employers be aware of?

There is no specific UK employment legislation dedicated solely to "Unauthorised Absence Policy," but several existing laws and regulations indirectly support the implementation of such policies. Here are some relevant ones:

  1. Employment Rights Act 1996: Provides guidelines on managing disciplinary issues related to unauthorized absence.

  2. Working Time Regulations 1998: Sets limits on working hours, rest breaks, and rest periods, which can impact unauthorized absence.

  3. Equality Act 2010: Requires fair treatment and prohibits discrimination when handling disciplinary matters.

  4. Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974: Emphasizes the importance of managing workload effectively to prevent absenteeism due to overworking.

  5. Data Protection Act 2018: Ensures proper handling and privacy of employee records related to unauthorized absence.

Unauthorised absence Policy


The purpose of this policy is to cover rules and procedures with regards to unauthorised absence.


This policy is applicable to all employees of [company name].

General principles


If you fail to report for work without prior permission or without notifying the Company and you do not have a legitimate reason for your absence, such as sickness absence, this constitutes unauthorised absence.

Unauthorised absence also includes cases of failing to return to work on time from a period of annual leave or other approved leave of absence without reasonable excuse and cases where you take a period of annual leave that has not been approved in advance by your line manager.

Managing unauthorised absence

Unauthorised absence without good cause is a serious disciplinary matter and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company's disciplinary procedure. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may amount to potential gross misconduct rendering you liable to summary dismissal.

This policy [does not] form[s] part of your terms and conditions of employment.

Version: [1.0]

Issue date: [date]

Author: [name, job title]


The Unauthorised absence policy template is issued by an employer
Issue path
The Unauthorised absence policy template is issued to an employee
Why buy our Unauthorised absence policy template?
  • You save time and effort with a professionally written, editable HR document that is tailored to meet best practice.
  • You ensure compliance with applicable ACAS Codes of Conduct and other legal requirements.
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