One of the last things an employer wants to deal with from an HR perspective are employees who do not show. 'No show' workers or those who simply do not show up for their shifts without requesting time off beforehand and without making any effort to call in sick or use personal days. Consistent no-shows can leave employers in a lurch because they don't know whether the employees in question actually intend to keep their jobs or not.
A persistent failure to show up for work is one sign of what we in the industry call 'job abandonment'. But employers cannot assume abandonment after a single no-show. They must start with a disciplinary mindset and then work from there. If it turns out that the employee has abandoned his or her job, tying up loose ends becomes the priority.
Employers have to be careful about how no-shows are handled so as to prevent violating the law while at the same time protecting their own reputations. Handling no-shows is more than just a small business payroll issue; it is about keeping the business going while minimizing any potential damage. To that end, there are three important things employers should know as discussed below.
1. Legal Payroll Obligations
First and foremost, employers are not legally allowed to withhold pay or benefits already earned by a no-show employee. All time worked must be compensated for according to the original agreement between employer and employee. This is important given the temptation to attempt to withhold pay in order to coerce a dissatisfied employee to return to work.
Irrespective of how the no-show itself is handled, employers must still pay employees what they have already earned. This can be done through direct deposit, paper check, pay card, or even cash. We recommend employers use the system currently in place. There is no need to change things to deal with no-show employees.
2. Following Established Policies
Just like the HR department should have a set of policies in place covering everything from online payroll to time tracking, policies should be in place to deal with employee no-shows. Those policies should clearly lay out what constitutes a no-show and how the HR department and management will handle it.
Policies should dictate a means of communication, any possible disciplinary actions, and any conditions related to no-shows that would constitute grounds for termination. In cases where management is not confident in the legality of its policies, an experienced lawyer should be consulted.
3. Maintaining Consistent Application
Finally, the fastest way for no-shows to become terribly disruptive is to be inconsistent about how they are handled. As with all company policies, employees who do not know where they stand from one day to the next are more likely to run afoul of the rules – whether ignorantly or willfully.
In terms of employee no-shows, being inconsistent in following policies is an open invitation to encourage more employees to simply not show up for work. If they can randomly make their own schedules without fear of any sort of disciplinary action, employees have no incentive to show up every day and on time.
If your company struggles with persistent no-shows, it might be time to revisit policies and how well those policies are maintained and enforced. In the meantime, BenefitMall offers a number of different customized payroll solutions that include time and attendance tracking. Perhaps upgrading your payroll to include the latest technologies and methodologies is all you need to get a better handle on no-shows. Modernizing your payroll is at least worth looking at.