Can we discipline an employee for unauthorised absence as a result of a Christmas party?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 7 December 2010
Emma-Jane Flannery
Arthur Cox

In general, employers are lenient with staff returning to work after a Christmas party. You may feel, however, that if an employee calls in sick the day after the Christmas party, he or she is pulling a “sickie” due to the amount he or she drank the night before.

You can treat unauthorised absence as a disciplinary matter. The problem with doing so, however, is being able to prove that the employee is not genuinely sick. Mere suspicion will not be enough.

It is a good idea to warn employees in advance of the party that disciplinary action may be taken for unauthorised absence. You should also

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015
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The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Emma-Jane Flannery
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Emma-Jane Flannery. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email Emma-Jane.Flannery@arthurcox.com

View all articles by Emma-Jane Flannery