Absence management is a key component in increasing overall workplace productivity and employee morale. The purpose of this advisory is to provide guidance in applying administrative procedures and establishing lines of communication for dealing with employee absences.
What is Absence from Duty?
An absence is any time period that an employee does not report for a scheduled workday to perform his/her assigned duties.
Department/Division Policies/Procedures Addressing Absences and Tardiness
Individual departments and larger divisions within departments need to prepare clear, written policies and procedures pertaining to absenteeism or tardiness
Absenteeism and tardiness policies should clearly address: who to call, when to call, what information to leave, what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable reasons for absences/tardiness, verification (documentation) requirements, unacceptable patterns of absenteeism/tardiness, consequences for ongoing incidents of unscheduled absenteeism/ tardiness, etc.
Human Resources staff in the Employee Relations Division and the on-site Employee Assistance Program staff are available to assist in the development of absenteeism/tardiness policies and procedures, as well as, providing guidance and counsel to address specific employee issues.
Verifying the Need to be off Work
Supervisors may require employees to bring verification of their need to be off work.
Verification of this need may include medical leave forms, house or auto repair bills (including dates of service), day care notices, etc. Any documentation that appears to verify the employee's stated reason to be off work is acceptable.
Failure of the employee to provide the requested verification of the need to be off work may and, in most instances, should result in disciplinary action.
Some Patterns to Look For
An employee absenteeism problem may emerge quite subtly. Early identification of an employee absenteeism problem may include:
- low leave balance
- payday Friday or Monday time off
- frequent time without pay
- frequent 8 hour absences
- frequent partial day absences
- frequent emergency time off
- frequent "sick" leave at the last minute
What Supervisors Can Do?
Make sure employees understand the City, departmental and divisional policies and procedures pertaining to time and attendance. Make sure employees know who to contact in case of the need to be absent from work.
Supervisors may deny an employee's access to accrued leave and rescind previously approved time to be off work, if in the best interest of the City.
Monitor the employee's absences and track patterns of unscheduled time off. Coach/ Counsel/ Consult and/or Refer the employee to appropriate resources. Some of the initial resources include:
- Deborah Cuffee: 817-392-7789
- Workers' Assistance Program: 1-800-343-3822
- Tarrant County MHMR Hot Line: 817-335-3022
The Employee Relations Division is developing a 2-hour course on Managing Absenteeism to be offered on-site in the very near future. Watch the Training Schedule in the HResources for details.
Employees may be referred or may refer themselves to the EAP program for assistance with any personal issues that may be affecting their performance. Some of these issues include:
- marital /spousal difficulties
- family issues
- child/elder care issues
- personal problems
- alcohol or substance abuse problems
- financial difficulties
200 Texas St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
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