Is poor attendance at work misconduct?

Written by Kevin Murphy
25 February, 2022

Is poor attendance at work misconduct?

 No. The above is a very common question we are asked, and we can certainly see why.

Sometimes poor attendance at work can really cause you a headache, and it can be easy to reach for disciplinary procedures to deal with poor attendance at work – but watch out. Read below to discover why we recommend a separate absence management process to deal with poor attendance.

Read on to find out more.

Poor attendance at work is not necessarily misconducted.

Whilst the employee is not at work, this does not necessarily mean they have done something wrong.

As such, using the regular disciplinary process is not reasonable in such circumstances. This can be risky and can lead to constructive dismissal claims. 

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To stay fair and reasonable, while also keeping all of the structure and familiarity of a disciplinary process, we recommend a robust absence management policy and procedure.

These include trigger points, where you can invite employees in for formal absence management meetings and issue written cautions.


Following this process is essential.

At the end of it, if absence still does not improve, you could even dismiss for SOSR or, some other substantial reason.


If you do not have a robust absence management policy and procedure, we heavily advise having one drafted. Not only can this reduce the risk of constructive dismissal, but a properly drafted policy can give you the confidence and know-how to deal with your absences in a structured way. 

Employment Law Solutions can help

If you have a question you would like answered, our lawyers are here to help. Email us your question and we’ll love to get back to you. 

Employment Law Solutions offer Employment Law advice and can assist with your absence management policy. By offering a monthly retainer service you are able to benefit from legal advice and employment contract reviews 24/7, 365 days, all while spreading the cost over 12 monthly payments.

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