Absenteeism: How to Validly Impose Disciplinary ProcedureAtty Elvin
This issue is tied up with the company’s leave policies. Whenever an employee is absent the first thing that employer should do is to check whether the employee filed a leave application prior or not.
If the employee indeed filed, it means he is already entitled to either service incentive leave or the company’s more superior vacation leave benefits. If the leave form was approved this type of absence should not pose a problem because it is sanctioned by the company.
Although there are employers who, although they approved the VL, they still feel bad whenever the employee is absent. Usually, the Filipino culture of “pakikisama” is the cause. This happens when the boss would reluctantly approve the VL application for “pakikisama” sake but deep inside does not want the employee to be absent.
No matter the underlying issue behind the approval of the VL, once it is signed, an employee is considered as on authorized absence. Thus, this type of absence should not be considered a problem.
However, not filing the leave or not conforming with the rules on the proper filing of leave form involves disciplinary matter. If the employee who is absent not due to emergency case failed to file the VL form prior to such absence he should be sanctioned accordingly. He is an absentee. Repetition of this unsanctioned conduct constitutes absenteeism.
The proper way to treat this problem is to issue the Notice to Explain (NTE) on the first day of absence with directive to return to work. If the employee continues to be absent despite having received the NTE and the directive to return to work he can be issued the final NTE and return to work directive. If he still ignores his case may fall into abandonment of work.