If you work for someone then you are entitled to take time off. In Australia, you’re legally entitle to 4 weeks of paid leave. Of course, you can’t just take the leave whenever you want, it needs to be approved by management.
This is simply to ensure that the company has enough workers to complete the necessary tasks. If you didn’t have to request time off then everyone could, theoretically, be off at the same time. That’s why it’s recommended to book your leave in advance.
You should note, if you are never allowed to take leave then you may have grounds for quitting and making an unfair dismissal claim. It’s worth talking to an unfair dismissal employment lawyer before you hand in your notice.
Other Time Off
Employees can also take sick days, personal days, and, if you have a flexible working policy, may simply come and go as they please. This does create opportunities for employees to take excessive amounts of time off. Not only can this affect productivity, but it can also affect the morale of other staff.
It’s important to deal with the issue but to do it sensitively.
The first step is to take a look at the overall production for the business and decide how much difference if any, the employee absence is making to productivity. If they are still completing their quota and producing excellent work then it may be best to simply allow the excess time off, making an example would not necessarily improve company productivity and is highly lightly to negatively affect morale.
However, if you decide that the excess time off is negatively affecting morale and productivity, you’re going to need to talk to the employee. Although this isn’t a disciplinary process you should handle it in the same way. That means inviting them to a meeting and discussing the issue with someone else in the room.
The most important part of this meeting is that you give them a chance to talk first. It’s possible that the reason they take extra time off is due to a medical condition or a specific home issue. Ask them to share with you why they are taking so much time. You may find it is better to allow it.
Of course, they are not obliged to tell you why they are absent, providing it is an approved absence. In this instance, it is best to remind them that flexible time or authorised absences are a perk that can be revoked. It would be necessary to revoke it from everyone.
Refer To The Rules
If you haven’t got anywhere with the compassionate approach you’re going to want to look at your company rules. This will help you to understand whether the employee is within their rights or not. It- is possible to change the rules. But, you need to give employees adequate notice and the new rules must be applied to everyone.