In my view, advance against salary needs to be avoided as far as possible. We run retail stores, where about 5000 people work, at relatively moderate salary but we dont follow any advance policy. Some of reasons against advance policy could be:
1. It creates a "advance culture" in the org. Say, 1 employee takes advance, others also follow, with or without any cause.
2. HR/personnel deptt gets bogged down by paper processing task & it may lead to corrupt practices as well, like HR guy taking a cut to clear advance request, etc.
3. Recovery of advance, in case of sudden abondonment, can cause loss to org.
Yes, we do consider extreme cases of medical emergencies & clear it on merits of case. Such cases may not be more than a 5 in a year.
6th July 2013 From India, Mumbai