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Most businesses will employ people to help them grow and run their business. A legally binding employment agreement governs the relationship between an employee and employer. Sometimes employees will not act in the best interests of the business and can be reprimanded or dismissed. One situation where an employee is not acting in the business’ best interest is where they abandon their job. This article will explain what to do and your rights as an employer when managing employment abandonment.

Abandonment of Employment

For whatever reason, an employee might abandon their job. This means that they have not shown up for work and do not give you a reason for their absence. Employees must have no intention of returning to work for an employee to have officially abandoned their job. 

Determining Abandonment

Before you can take further action, you must first establish that an employee has abandoned their job. An obvious sign is if an employee says something that implies no intention of returning to work. Other signs include if your employee has cleared their desk or refuses to answer your communication with them.

As an employer, you must try and get in contact with your employee if they have not already contacted you. If you manage to contact your employee and they have a good reason for their absence and plan on returning, you cannot dismiss your employee for abandonment. For example, they may have had a family emergency or could have had a medical event.

Although there is no legal duration of absence before an employee has abandoned their job, the typical finding is three or more days. Once this has passed and you have made every effort to contact the employee, you can begin the legal process of dismissing the employee. 

Check the Employment Agreement

An employment agreement may have a clause relating to abandonment. This clause may state how many days an employee has to be away from work before it is determined that they have abandoned their job. It is a good idea to include a clause on abandonment in your employment agreement. Ultimately, this clause will help govern what appropriate action you need to take to avoid the need for litigation. 

Dismissing an Employee

To dismiss an employee for abandonment, you must first contact your employee. Likewise, alert them that their employment is at risk due to abandonment. If they respond with a legitimate excuse, you can follow up with them accordingly. However, if they do not reply, you can send them further correspondence that you have terminated their employment due to their abandonment. 

Always keep a record of all correspondence with your employee in case they decide to dispute their dismissal.

Key Takeaways

Employees are the lifeblood of a lot of business success. Some employees, however, can be less committed to their job than others. In this case, employers can dismiss their employees if they have good enough reasons. One of the ways that an employer can dismiss an employee is if they abandon their job. 

Abandonment is where an employee does not show up for work and has no intention of returning to work. There are several steps that an employer must follow before you can prove its abandonment. First, the employer must do everything in their power to contact the employee and ask them why they have not turned up for work. If they have a good reason, the matter can be solved. However, if you cannot reach your employee, you can consider dismissing them in the appropriate fashion. 

For legal assistance with the abandonment of employment, contact LegalVision’s employment lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an employee I have dismissed for abandonment entitled to redundancy pay?

No, redundancy pay is a package you negotiate with your employee when you want to let them go because their position is no longer needed.

How long should I wait before dismissing my employee?

If you have done everything you can to contact your employee, then you should wait at least three days before dismissing your employee.

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