EXCUSED ABSENCE: What Does It Mean To Be Absence From Work?

Excused Absence
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We all have off days from work, but then there’ll always be a situation that demands we miss work, planned or unplanned. Courtesy demands you’ll be excused before being absent from work. Excused absence simply means you have received permission to be absent from work. Is there an appropriate way to get permission from work? Will an employee be paid for an excused absence? Is there a penalty for an unexcused absence from work? We’ll buttress this as well as highlight the examples of excused absence and how to properly get approval from your employee.

What is Excused Absence?

There are several reasons why someone would take an excused absence from work. Although it depends on the individual, there’s a need for it to follow proper procedure. If you don’t follow procedures, your request will not be approved. If you also decide to defy orders, the consequences can range from dismissal to a reduction in wages or salaries, or not being paid. An excused absence is when an employee receives permission to be absent from work. It is also seen as an accepted right to be absent from work duties. An employer or management grants employees this permission through its administrative. Generally, the approval is given because an official notice was given to the company. As a result, the absence will not affect the employee’s wage or salary, nor will it be charged to an employee’s leave account.

Within an organization, an excused absence can be referred to as administrative leave. Administrative leave means that the employee in question has received permission to be off duty. Businesses grant their workers excused absences under several conditions. However, these conditions are available in their policy. According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), for an absence to be excused, the management must be informed at least 48 hours before the day, the request must be approved, and the employee must have enough paid time off (PTO) to make up for the absence.

What Are the Reasons for Excused Absence?

All administrative leave absences that people take from work are either planned or unplanned. Unplanned absences are mostly emergencies that come up unexpectedly. The following are some of the reasons for administrative leave within an organization;

  • Vacation
  • Illness
  • Surgical operations
  • Jury duty
  • Family events
  • Funeral
  • Military service

What Is the Official Way of Getting Excused Absence in an Organization?

Every business designs its policy, and this simply means that the exact actions anyone must take to obtain an administrative leave differ from one business to another. But then, these steps will help you get your leave approval in no time. 

#1. Be Familiar With Your Business Policy

Do not just miss work, make sure you know how to notify your manager that you will be away. Determine whether you need to alert your manager and how you should go about doing so 

#2. Inform the Management in Time

Excused absence takes several forms. For instance, if you intend to attend the funeral of a loved one, the date wasn’t fixed within a second. It was fixed ahead of the exact funeral day. Courtesy demands you inform your boss by voice mail before the day. You should also remind them about the day if it is weeks away. When informing your boss or the company’s management, ensure you indicate the reason why you need the time off, as well as when and for how many days. Big businesses have procedures that employees must adhere to before getting excused leave. This may include filing your request via an HR platform.

#3. Contact the Organization in Emergencies

Informing the management or your employer in advance doesn’t apply to an emergency. But then every employee must inform their boss of any emergency that’ll possibly hinder them from coming to the workplace. Try as much as possible to do this on time too. If you are unable to do that, you can always get someone else to report on your behalf.

#4. Write a Permission Letter

Whether you are supposed to mail it or submit the hard copy for proper documentation depends on your company’s policy. The letter must include the reason for the absence you seek to be excused, the number of days, and the date. But then this only applies to the planned absence.

Tips on How to Write Your Excused Absence Letter

The following tips will help you write your excused absence letter appropriately;

Use a Formal Business Format

A permission letter is a formal letter. Therefore, every form of formality must be upheld. Include the date, the business name, address, your information, heading, and main body. Also, remember to use appropriate closure.

State a Legitimate Reason

Understand corporate rules and what constitutes a legitimate absence from work. This is because not all excuses will be accepted by your employer. Therefore, make sure your reasons are good enough.

Keep it Short and Simple

In writing your permission letter to get an excused absence, make sure your letter is concise and straight to the point. No one has time to read the details of your personal problems. So just state the relevant information.

Offer to Assist

If there’s anything you can do to make up for the excused absence you seek, please indicate so. Generally, it motivates the employer or whoever will look over the letter to grant your permission. You might think about doing something to compensate for your absence. For example, you may indicate that you will still be checking email while abroad, or you could offer to work an extra hour or two later to finish up some unfinished business.

#5. Provide Documentation

If you’ll be attending a funeral, it doesn’t hurt to mail the invitation to your boss to prove that you weren’t consciously staying away from work. Several employers will demand to see the documentation of your acclaimed excuse as proof. Make sure your documents are ready.

#6. Do Not Over Stay

When you are granted an excused leave, please do not overstay the specified period unless there’s a need for it. This will ensure you’ll get another administrative leave if the need arises.

#7. Seek Colleagues’ Help 

If your colleagues can help out with your job while you’re absent from work, do not hesitate to ask for it. However, make sure you do not overdo this. 

Examples of Excused Absence

An employee who does not show up at work without prior permission from the management goes against the company policy. Even if it’s an emergency, courtesy demands that the employee must contact the employer or the management. The following are some examples of excused absence

#1. Activities at School

We can’t possibly talk about the examples of excused absence without mentioning school-related activities. If you are a parent with kids, you can take an excused absence from your office to attend your ward’s school activities. Even if you are a part-time student, you can get permission from your office to attend school-related activities. If you have enough paid time off (PTO), it’s perfect. 

#2. Jury Duty

Excused absence examples are incomplete without jury duty. Luckily, state law states that no employer should serve an employee penalty if at any point they are called for jury duty. Unfortunately, the law didn’t compel the company to compensate employees for their time spent serving on a jury. But if you’re lucky, it’ll pass for an excused absence.

#3. Sick or Medical Leave

One of the most common examples of an excused absence is sick or medical leave. However, there’s a need for medical confirmation, which is usually a doctor’s note. The doctor’s report or note actually confirms that you visited the hospital or a clinic. There are times when it even clears you on when to return to work. 

Is Excused Absence Paid?

No one jokes about payday, which explains why many people learn how to calculate their net pay just to ensure there are no irrelevant deductions made on their wages or salaries. The definition of an excused absence states that the leave doesn’t in any way affect payday, that is, you’ll be paid. Is this true?

Whether you’ll be paid for an excused absence or not depends on the company’s policy. For instance, one of the examples of an excused absence, jury duty, has a state law that demands employers to approve employees’ permission. The same law does not in any way compel employees to compensate for their time. This means that the employer can decide to approve the leave but without pay.

Unexcused Absence from Work Policy

Is there a policy that guides unexcused absences from work? Is an unexcused absence from work pardonable or punishable? This depends on the company’s policy, but the society of human resource management has guidelines for situations within

What Is an Unexcused Absence?

An unexcused absence, as the name implies, means staying away from work without authorization from your company’s management or your employer. This is actually not permitted in most organizations and comes with punishment depending on how strict the company’s policy is. The punishment can be as light as not getting paid for that day to getting a query from the organization. It can also be as severe as receiving a suspension letter or even a dismissal letter. An employer does not arrange or authorize unexplained absences.

Is unexcused Absence from Work Pardonable?

According to the Society of Human Resource Management, there’s a disciplinary measure for unexcused absence from work, particularly when it becomes an excessive absence. Excessive absenteeism is missing work two or more times without approval within a 30-day period. According to the SHRM policy, if an employee misses work 8 times in a period of 12 months, it’s a ground for termination. 

In all, the decision lies with the management, who can choose to make payment in full, part, or make no payment for administrative leave.

Job Abandonment

Job abandonment is when an employee does not report to work for a period of 3 days or more without notification. When this happens, it is assumed that the employee has abandoned their job and voluntarily ended their employment relationship.

In Essence

Employees must endeavor to get proper permission from management at all times before missing work, for either planned or unplanned reasons. It’s the proper thing to do, and if you are faced with an emergency, do ensure to reach out as soon as you can.

Excused Absence FAQs

What are the four types of absences?

Virtual absence, planned absence, unplanned and last minutes absence.

What is unplanned absence?

An unplanned absence occurs when an employee has to miss work as a result of an emergency.

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