Absconding employees is a menace that impacts more than productivity; it can set a bad precedent for others. If an employee absconding case within the organization is not met with professionalism and strictness, other workers can take it as an example of ignoring the absconding policy.
In the simplest terms, employee absconding is when an employee disappears or stays away from work without prior notice. This absence is for an extended period or permanent, leading to disrupted workflow, productivity loss, and challenges for other employees who have to pick up the slack.
There can be multiple routes to deal with employees absconding from work, but your primary focus must be understanding the reasons. If something at work is causing employees to leave abruptly without notice, it must be addressed immediately.
Let’s explore some ways to deal with an employee abscond.
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How to deal with absconders?
You must take a thoughtful and strategic approach while dealing with employee abscond. An organization must handle employees absconding from work fairly and comply with labor laws.
Before you take any measures, it is essential to identify the absconding employee’s status and verify that they are indeed absconding. Companies can use software like Truein, which offers GPS geofencing features for tracking employees.
While this feature is for accurate time and attendance monitoring, it also provides a clear record of employee attendance and absences.
Truein can help you identify and ensure that you deal with genuine employee absconding cases. Once you are sure, you can take the following measures.
1. Communicate with the Absconder:
The first step towards resolution is establishing communication with the employee absconding from work. Communicating with the absconder is essential to understand why they disappeared from work. You can encourage them to return to work if they genuinely have a reason not to attend work.
Try to contact the absconder telephonically to inquire about the reasons for their absence. Listen to their concerns with an open mind and then express the organization’s expectations.
Communicate that employee absconding is unacceptable, expressing understanding and concern for their situation. If the employee cooperates and responds positively, you can provide solutions to resolve the situation. Companies should always be ready to help employees address their issues while continuing to fulfill their job responsibilities.
Also, all communication with an absconder must be documented. If things don’t work out and you are forced to take a legal route, all communication records will be required.
2. Release all statutory payments
Even if the employee absconds and disagrees to report back to work, as an employer, you will be obliged to release all statutory payments owed to the employee. You cannot withhold payments, and it’s your ethical obligation to release payments and entitlements.
Statutory payments are the legally mandated compensation and benefits – salary, overtime, unpaid wages, accumulated leave, and any bonuses or commissions – an employee is entitled to. HR should review the work-hour records of the absconding employee to identify any outstanding payments.
Truein provides detailed reports of hours worked, overtime hours, leaves, accrued vacation days, etc. Time and attendance tracking software like Truein makes the payroll process easier by automating calculations. It ensures that companies accurately and timely release payments, avoiding legal complications.
When calculating statutory payments, calculate any necessary deductions or withholdings, such as taxes or outstanding debts the employee owes. Ensure that applicable laws and regulations make all deductions. Prepare the final settlement detailing payments and deductions and present the final settlement to the employee in person or digitally.
Sample warning email to an employee absconding from work
In complex cases or when dealing with a particularly challenging absconding situation, you might have to send a warning email to ensure the organization’s message is communicated to the employee. Here’s a sample warning email template for employee absconding cases.
Subject: Urgent: Return to Work or Explain Absence
Dear [Employee’s Name],
I hope this email finds you well. We have noticed that you have been absent from work for (days or period) without prior notice or communication. This is a matter of concern as it disrupts the team’s workflow and affects our organizational goals.
We understand that personal or work-related issues can arise unexpectedly, and we always extend support to our employees and encourage open communication. Please get in touch with us to explain your absence and provide an estimated return date.
If there are any challenges you are facing that are hindering your ability to work, please let us know. We are committed to helping you overcome these challenges and continue your employment.
However, it is essential to resolve this matter promptly. Failure to respond to this email or continue your absence without communication seriously violates the company’s employee absconding policy. It may lead to further action as per our company policies.
We look forward to hearing from you soon and working together to find a solution.
How do we minimize absconding cases at the workplace?
It is in the company’s interest to minimize employee absconding cases through a strategic and proactive approach. Here are some of the steps to prevent or reduce the likelihood of employee absconding:
1. HR policy formulation
All current and new employees must be aware of your organization’s take on employee absconding. You should formulate a comprehensive HR policy addressing absenteeism and absconding. Clearly outline the expectations regarding attendance, leave requests, and the consequences of unauthorized absences.
Your employee absconding policy should include a probationary period for new employees. This period typically lasts for the first few months of their employment, during which both parties can assess their fit. Finally, the absence policies, including the probationary period, must be communicated to all employees during onboarding.
2. Recruitment and onboarding
Companies can avoid employee abscond situations with thorough screening to assess the candidate’s work history and reliability. Conduct detailed background and reference checks to identify any patterns of absenteeism in their previous roles.
During the onboarding process, emphasize the company’s expectations for employees. Ensure new employees fully understand the company’s attendance policy and the consequences of unauthorized absences.
3. Carry out HR responsibilities
Take your HR responsibilities seriously. Be there for employees through open and proactive communication. Promptly address any concerns or challenges that might cause absenteeism. Another responsibility of HR is to implement effective attendance tracking.
Truein is a reliable cloud-based software solution to monitor employee attendance and identify potential issues early on. It creates attendance reports that help managers spot trends or patterns requiring attention.
Train HR teams in conflict resolution techniques to mitigate any issues that can escalate, resulting in employees absconding from work.
Organizations can create support systems, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), to assist employees with personal or emotional challenges.
4. Come up with retention strategies
One way to improve employee retention is to keep employees engaged and motivated. Foster a positive work environment, implement recognition programs, and create opportunities for skill development and career growth. Organizations with wellness programs supporting employees’ physical and mental health have high retention rates.
Explore flexible work arrangements, including remote work options, to help employees achieve a better work-life balance. You can even provide them with flexible working hours. If needed, divide the work schedule in shifts. One can use shift scheduling softwares like Truein for the same.
It can significantly reduce the likelihood of absences. It would help if you had a regular feedback mechanism working to recognize employees for their contributions. Acknowledging their efforts and value can boost job satisfaction and retention.
Dealing with employee absconding cases can be challenging for any organization. However, it is an essential aspect of workforce management that requires strategic planning.
By understanding the reasons behind absconding, HR can take steps to mitigate the issues by implementing effective communication and ensuring compliance with statutory regulations. With tips shared here, employers can minimize disruptions and maintain a positive workplace culture by preventing employee abscond cases.
1. Can an employer take legal action against an absconding employee?
Yes, employers are within their legal rights to take action against absconding employees, particularly if the absconding leads to substantial damages or breaches of employment contracts. Legal action against such employees can vary from simple legal notices to litigation for recovery of company assets, depending on applicable laws.
2. Is absconding the same as termination?
No, employee absconding from work is not the same as termination. Absconding refers to an employee’s unexplained absence from work for a long time without officially resigning. At the same time, termination is a formal decision made by the company to end an employee’s contract.
Termination typically involves formal documentation, notice period, severance package, and communication, whereas absconding lacks such formalities.