Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr And Employee Relations Consultant

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one of our Employee stopped coming to office. we tried to reach the person on the phone. but in vain. its nearly 15 days now. As an HR person, how should i handle such situation --- i should know the reason behind this and keep my company safe too.
Dear Anita,
How you came to know that the employee has been unauthorizedly absent for 15 days?
Are you his functional head?
If not so, did you receive any complaint from his functional head?
Whatever it is, first, send a letter to his last known address by registered post directing him to report for duty within three days with his explanation in writing for his unauthorized absence. Also mention in the letter that any failure on his part in this regard would entail disciplinary action against him under the relevant rules of the organization.
If the letter is unserved or there is no response from the employee, frame charges, conduct a domestic enquiry ( in case of his failure to attend the enquiry, the enquiry officer would set him ex parte), after analysing the findings of the enquiry report, issue a second show cause notice about the proposed punishment and then finally award the punishment of dismissal by means of a speaking orders. If the absconding employee remains incommunicado all along, effect service of communication at every stage by means of paper publication particularly in vernacular news papers.

Sir, Thank you very much for your suggestion. i will go ahead with your advice — —
Dear Anita,
While I share largely the views of Mr Umakanthan sir, I think before deciding on instituting domestic enquiry, one has to examine and analyse following facts:
1. Whether
the Industrial Employment Standing Orders Act is applicable to the establishment ( In Maharashtra it applies to the establishment ie Factory or Shops and Commercial establishment employing 50 workmen).
2. Whether immediately after noticing his absence, any letters were sent to the employee pointing out that his absence is unauthorised , without any permission/ intimation and asking him to report for duty failing which disciplinary action will be taken.
3 To establish in the enquiry that his absence is habitual,
whether his past record is available and supports it.
3.Remember, Habitual Absence ( 3 times absence within prior 12 months period is considered habitual as per Model Standing Orders) only ranks for harsh disciplinary action like dismissal after having given enough opportunity to improve.
4 If present absence is for the first or second time ,then it would be appropriate to warn him and let him off.
The above is more from the legal angle and I am sure Mr Umakanthan had it in the back of his mind while he gave his views.
Regards,
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant

Dear Mr. Nagarkar, i will keep in mind the points you mentioned above while dealing with the absconding employee. thank you sir.
Dear Madam,
Before commencing any action,please ensure that the Office Manual (Operation Manual or HR Manual) has elaborated about "unauthorized absence" and its consequences and be guided accordingly.
Even if it is unauthorized absence, any stringent action by the Employer can be substantiated only if the staff had been 'habitual' in absenting without proper authorization.

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