You don’t need us to tell you that the summer period is peak season for staff members wanting to take some time out of the office. The kids are soon to be off school, people are thinking about a few weeks in the sun, and the holiday requests start to come rolling in.

All business owners know that it’s essential to have a robust policy in place to manage leave requests and ensure that they’re handled fairly and efficiently, so you can fulfill your duties as a responsible and fair employer, and also make sure that organisational requirements and targets are being fulfilled.

But what happens when you’re forced to decline a request for leave, and then the employee in question fails to turn up for work anyway? The initial reaction might be to think that they’re taking the proverbial Michael, and that it’s time to roll out your usual disciplinary procedures. In some cases, that might indeed be appropriate. Let’s not jump to conclusions though. Take a step back, and look at the full picture.

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