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 then 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.

 

CIPD member content

This content is only available for CIPD members

Disclaimer 

‚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. 

Employment
law advice

Want more employment law advice? Members can phone the CIPD legal helpline or take out a discounted subscription to HR-inform for additional resources.

Callout Image

Related content on absence

Thought leadership
UK policy reforms needed to shift dial on economic participation of long-term sick

Urgent public policy reform to promote good work and health is needed to tackle long-term sickness absence

Guides
Managing and supporting employees with long-term health conditions

Practical advice and guiding principles for effective support

Guides
People manager guide: Managing and supporting employees with long-term health conditions

Practical advice and guiding principles for effective support

Guides
People manager guide: Managing a return to work after long-term absence

Practical guidance to effectively manage and support an employee’s return to work after long-term sickness absence

Employment law

Access more employment law resources

Employment law
Race discrimination: UK employment law

Explore our collection of resources around legal issues surrounding race discrimination, including Q&As and relevant case law

For Members
Employment law
Gender pay gap reporting: UK employment law

Explore our collection of resources around the gender pay gap in UK employment law

Employment law
Employment status: UK employment law

Explore our collection of resources around legal issues surrounding employees and workers, including Q&As for various types of workers and relevant case law

For Members