When an employee fail to report to work without prior notice verbally or on written, and when contacted they are not reachable, it is a clear cut case of absconding. This normally happens after a long leave. Some employees play it safe and keep sending mails as soon as their leave is over, to extend the leave, giving a reason they know better. When it is extended more than once, then it should be clear that, the employee is not willing to come back, but this can’t be considered as abscondment, as he is communicating his absence through mail or on call. But, after some time, if his/her phone is not reachable, then you can make out that the employee is absconding.
Abscond itself means, leaving secretly. So, here, you, as an HR have to come into picture. What possible ways can you deal with this situation?
- Don’t come to a conclusion: Make an attempt to contact the employee as much as possible, Drop a mail, send a reminder again and again, and send a letter, contact through SMS and so on and so forth. There could be possible reason why the employee is not showing up and not answering the call. SO try to contact the relatives and any other contacts mentioned n the record and find out the reason of his absence.
Only after all the attempts fail, and you come to know that the employee is not answering your call deliberately, then declare it as absconding. Don’t just come into conclusion in one go. Remember you are answerable to your manager as well. SO only after trying all the permutation combination, decide whether he is absconding or in some trouble. If you get through, hear his side of the problem as well.
- Reason for absence: There could be many reasons why an employee is not able to make it in office. So, if you get a chance, try to find out the reason through his colleagues or friends or relatives. The reason could be many like harassment, threatening, bullying, office politics or any personal reasons. So discuss the reason with your manager and then come to a conclusion.
- Communicate with your manager: keep your manager in loop about all this, tell them the reason for the employee’s absence and then on mutual discussion, if you find the reason not valid enough, you can tag the employee as absconding.
- The intention to return: Probe more and more, to know from his friends and relatives on whether he is willing to come back or is just playing around. If, by any means, you feel that, he is not serious enough, you can declare him as absconding.
- Terminate the remuneration: If an employee has surpassed the number of leaves and has still not communicated about the extension of the leaves, you have full right as an HR whatsoever to terminate the remuneration of the employee. Only when you find a valid reason of his/her absence, can you re-consider about the remuneration.
SO, as an HR dealing with absconding is a proper procedure to be followed. And only after all the procedures fail, can you declare an employee as absconding.