This arises due to a failure of an employee to attend for work (i.e. unscheduled time off from work taken by an employee) at a time when they were rostered or scheduled to work. Allowable absenteeism or excused absences can occur also and usually take the form of annual leave, maternity leave, carer’s leave, adoptive leave, parental leave, medical appointments, surgery, jury duty and compassionate leave.

It is well established that unauthorised absenteeism can cause a negative impact on the operations of a business and as such measures may be introduced in order to reduce unscheduled and unauthorised absenteeism. Measures that can be adopted to reduce the likelihood or effects of absenteeism include flexible-working patterns, keeping accurate sickness absence records, disciplinary sanctions, strict absenteeism procedures including deadlines by which an employee must notify the employer of any unauthorised absence, return-to-work meetings, introduction of Employee Assistance Programmes, etc.