Essential points

  • Employers should distinguish between lateness, short-term absences and long-term absences, and authorised and unauthorised absence.
  • Authorised short-term absences may include attending medical appointments and specific religious observances, annual leave and sickness absence; unauthorised short-term absences could include persistent lateness.
  • Employers should investigate the cause of unauthorised absences and respond appropriately, which could include authorising a temporary adjustment to cope with exceptional circumstances or disciplinary action.
  • Authorised absences should be managed in accordance with an organisation’s policies on annual leave and sickness absence.


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‚ÄčPlease note: While every care has been taken in compiling this content, CIPD cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. These notes are not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice. 

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