ABSENT FROM WORK: LOA from work is often the cause of disputes in the workplace between employers and their employees.
UK standards and industry guidelines regulate employee working hours. They govern the maximum number of hours worked before break periods and situations for taking time off work.
These labour laws are in fact called the Working Time Regulations or WTR. As a result, UK employment laws grant at least 5.6 weeks of annual paid leave for every worker.
Employers often regulate or restrict when paid holiday time gets taken.
In some cases, leave from work could be an annual company shutdown. These situations are usually agreed in the trading contract. But, statutory employment rights provide employees with official leave of absence for many other reasons besides holiday periods.
Leave of Absence United Kingdom
LOA UK Definition: Leave of absence is a period of time where an individual maintains employee status while taking time away from their primary job.
Reasons for Leave of Absence from Work (LOA)
- Antenatal care, maternity, paternity, parental, or adoption leave.
- Taking time off work for family reasons (or dependents).
- Taking time off for public duties or activities by a trade union official or a learning representative.
- Taking a leave of absence from work to carry out duties as a personal fund trustee.
- Time off work to study for certain educational qualifications by 16 and 17 year olds.
- Time off for duties by a health and safety official or employee representative.
- Time away from work to accompany another worker to a disciplinary or grievance hearing.
- Time off work to perform certain civic duties (e.g. Justice of the Peace).
- Time off work because of a suspension (e.g. medical suspensions).
- Time off to seek new work during a notice of redundancy.
- Time off work to carry out duties by a candidate or member of a European works council.
Being Absent from Work Due to Illness
Statutory leave and holidays are two of the most common reasons for workers to be absent from work. But, staff absence due to sickness also accounts for absenteeism from a primary occupation.
Statutory Sick Pay is a system covering employees who are absent at work through illness. It helps workers who do not have specified contractual payments.
Most contracts of employment include terms for procedures during sickness absenteeism. Still, long-term illness may give your boss grounds to terminate your employment.
Compassionate Leave of Absence UK
The ‘right for time off to care for dependents‘ is a ruling which allows qualifying employees to take compassionate leave of absence. Compassionate leave provides an individual with absent time from work. It grants work absence to care for the sudden illness (or death) of a dependent family member who lives with them.
Note: Compassionate leave of absence is not applicable for non-emergencies or general death and bereavement.
Sickness absenteeism should follow a fair procedure with evidence obtained about employee capabilities to work. Severe cases may involve an examination by an occupational health specialist or a doctor.
Illnesses lasting more than 12 months are usually considered a disability as defined by the Equality Act. In this case, all reasonable adjustments should take place to enable the employee to return to the workplace at some time in the future.
Enforced Absenteeism at Work
Enforced absence from work could be due to an arrest or a long custodial sentence. It may bring your labour contract to a sudden end. Inescapable absenteeism is also grounds for a fair dismissal carried out by company management.
Note: There is no specific law that allows time off for jury service. But, failing to attend could be considered as contempt of court. Thus, dismissal by your employer for taking time off to attend jury service would be grounds for unfair dismissal.