Taking time off work can often be seen negatively by employers. The truth is though that there are a number of perfectly legitimate reasons why an employee might need to take a few hours or even days off work. There is a fine line between being a good boss and allowing time off when an employee needs it, to being too lenient. The last thing that you want is to be seen as weak and allowing employees to take liberties.
The first step to making sure that your employees only take time off that they have to is to have a comprehensive tracking system in place. You should make sure that you are keeping track of all absences and time spent out of the office. Even knowing that this is being monitored closely will encourage your employees to take time off seriously. You also need to have strict guidelines about what is acceptable and what is not for taking time off.
If you are looking for excuses to skip work for whatever reason, here are 8 good reasons to miss work for a day or two:
Reason 1 – Illness or an appointment with a medical professional
Whether you have the flu or some other ailment, sickness is one of the fairly good reasons to miss work. The vast majority of doctors, dentists and other health professionals do not work in the evenings. At some point, you will even have to probably make an appointment during work hours too.
The key thing here is that you should be understanding. It can be encouraged that appointments like this are to be made early in the morning or late in the day to minimize disruption to the workday. This will not always be possible, however.
Reason 2 – An emergency at home
Having a personal emergency is another good reason to miss work. If the home of one of your employees is flooded due to a burst pipe, they will need to take care of it right away. This can happen to anyone without any notice. It is a good idea to have a record of who uses this reason and when. If it happens more than once, you might start to think that something is amiss.
Reason 3 – A family emergency
When kids are involved, there really is no room for argument. Parents need to look after their kids when they get sick and no one else can pick up the slack. There is often very little notice for this. Being a little flexible when an employee needs to take care of their family during a workday will foster a great deal of loyalty.
Reason 4 – Bereavement or funeral
This reason for missing work needs to be handled very delicately. If an employee of yours has lost a member of their family you should respond with understanding and compassion. Unless you have good reason to be suspicious, then there is nothing to do except give them the time they need.
If the same aunt keeps dying once a year, you should, of course, become a little less understanding. This is where keeping a record of your employees reasons for absence.
Reason 5 – Car trouble
This can be a legitimate excuse depending on where the car trouble has taken place and the severity. An accident or broken down car will take a few hours to resolve at the minimum. If there has been any injury then this can become an absence due to health reasons.
To determine if a car not starting is a valid excuse, you will need to make up your own mind. This will take into account certain factors such as the availability of public, or other methods of transport.
Reason 6 – Appliance or other large delivery
This kind of delivery is notorious for being vague about when they will be delivered. Usually, a timeslot of 4-8 hours is given. This can often mean that your employee will need to be at home for a considerable portion of the day of delivery. While frustrating, this can often be unavoidable.
Reason 7 – Hungover
The jury is still out on whether this is a good reason to miss work for a day, but we need to consider all possibilities. This is not a valid excuse provided there was at least 24 hours notice of an employees shift start time. Knowing that they have work the next day should be enough to keep them from partying all night. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that they plan their leisure activities around their work schedule. Not the other way around.
Reason 8 – Oversleeping
It happens. An alarm not going off can cause someone to sleep right through their normal wake up time. This can mean they miss the train or bus to work, or simply get stuck in more traffic than usual. This, in of itself is no excuse to miss a day of work. It is an explanation to be late, but only provided that it doesn’t happen regularly.
With the help of workforce management systems, you should be keeping track of when and how frequently each employee is late. This way, you will be able to enforce some penalties for repeat offenders. After all, it is not fair on your other team members for some employees to walk into work whenever they feel like it.