In Boguslaw Bienias v Iplex Pipelines Australia, a team leader failed to show up to work for a fortnight. During his absence, Iplex attempted to contact the employee by phone, in writing, and even arranged for the police to conduct a welfare check on him. The employee did not respond. As a result of this case’s decision, the FWC announced that it will review abandonment clauses in all modern awards.
Employees are sometimes accused of abandoning their employment. The employee may have simply disappeared. Other times, the employee remains in contact but, perhaps because of an (alleged) injury or illness, refuses or fails to attend at work. Where is the line drawn between temporary absence and abandonment and, in any case, how should an employer deal with it?
In this article we gain some case study insights from Consultant, Michael Minns on the topic of absenteeism. He also reminds HR and management teams that analysing your current workplace absenteeism is a good place to start when looking to manage this complex and multifaceted phenomena.
“It is typically unlawful to treat an employee adversely (for example, by terminating their employment) solely because they are suffering from an illness or because they have sustained an injury,” says Lisa Qiu. “However, employers are legitimately entitled to expect that an employee will be present at work to perform the role for which they have been hired.” Read more.