Employee went on an unauthorized leave - Salary on hold - Is it the right approach? - CiteHR
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Bharat Gera
Principal Hr Consultant
Retired Government Servant/advocate

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An employee went on an unauthorized leave but she did inform us that she is going on leaves a day prior and she did return back to work after few days.
Now we have put her months salary on hold as we are not yet satisfied with her reasoning and such short notice of leaves and waiting for further clarifications.
Is it the right approach?

Also can we force the employee to submit evidence of her leaves ?
Monthly salary is paid on the no. of days worked by the employee which automatically includes holidays and authorised leave availed. If any leave is not authorised, it has to be treated as LOP only. Therefore, you can not hold the entire month's salary because the employee was unauthorisedly absent for certain days in the month.
Thank you Mr Umakanthan.
Regarding my second query can an employer force the employee to provide evidence of her leaves if the employee is not willing to.

Before answering the second query, I'd like to highlight certain important points relating to leave of employees which are universally recognized.
The twin objective of the provision of leave in the realm of employment is to encourage the employees to be away from the monotony of work for some times with the prior permission of the employer and get rejuvenated and to enable them to discharge their important or unexpected personal and social obligations with the leave of the employer.
It implies, therefore, that leave can not be claimed by the employee as a matter of right and generally, it requires the prior sanction of the employer. However, certain specific kinds of leave like C.L,S.L may be of exception as the contingencies for such leave can not be predictable. So, ordinarily, liberality of sanction of such leave depending on the purpose would make the employees being reasonable in applying for such leave. On the contrary, indifferent approach of sanction may demotivate the employees and may induce them to apply for leave on feigned grounds too. The pattern of leave availment over a period and the exigencies of work or the job requirements of the individual might be of much help to decide the issue reasonably. Hence no straight-jacket formula can be suggested.
Coming to the query now - demanding the production of evidence for leave applied for is possible depending upon the length and purpose of the leave irrespective of it being with or without wages. For instance, if the leave is for prolonged illness of the employee or his family, the employer can demand medical evidence before sanction; if for any other reason like admission of the son or daughter in a far off educational institution or a family ceremony that requires the presence and participation of the employee, the employer or the leave sanctioning authority can tactfully get the information from the employee himself. The logic behind such a move should be more of the purpose that the employee should not be allowed to keep the contract of employment under suspended animation just because of his L.O.P than mere suspecion or distrust.

Thank you Mr Umakanthan once again for the detailed reply.
What action can be taken on the employee in case the employee outrightly refuses to submit any evidence.

Apologize for being too pushy but Mr Umakanthan can you please reply to the query below ?
What action can be taken on the employee in case the employee outrightly refuses to submit any evidence of leaves.
After that I won't bug you anymore :)

My dear friend,
When the leave itself is rejected for want of evidence, it is going to be unauthorized absence and as such salary would be deducted proportionately. Suppose the employee submits the evidence, are you going to sanction the leave and pay the salary even when there is no leave at his credit?
When there is wanton refusal by the employee despite your written orders to that effect, you can initiate disciplinary action against him for willful insubordination OR if there is such a provision in your service regulations or standing orders, you can declare that the period of unauthorized absence would not be taken into account for the calculation of his continuous service resulting in disentitlement for gratuity and other terminal benefits.

Thank you Mr Umakanthan.
We haven't yet rejected the leaves but are forcing the employee to submit evidence of her leaves and she is adamant of not providing it and she is ok for LOP.
Thank you once again for all the help.Greatly appreciate it.

Dear Friend,
The term used by you 'we are forcing the employee to submit evidence of her leave' is really amusing, how can you force an employee to submit something which she is not willing to submit, may be it is too personal or may b it is confidential. What do you wish to establish by forcing the employee, simply reject her leave and close the matter unless off-course some ego issue is involved.
Warm Regards
Bharat Gera
HR Consultant

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