GTA 5 & Unauthorised Absence – Grand Theft for Employers
As the latest version of the smash video game series Grand Theft Auto hits the streets today employers are being reminded of their legal obligations…
Grand Theft Auto V was released today, despite a number of gamers receiving their copies at the weekend from Amazon who are investigating the breach of the official 17th September embargo.
GTA5 is one of the most hotly anticipated video games of the year and is also supposed to be the most expensive video game ever made.
With the lure of such a gaming phenomena, the latest incarnation of the GTA series is expected to have some fans taking a "sickie", either to queue up outside video game stores (from midnight last night) or to stay home and immerse themselves in the murky world of the Grand Theft Auto environment.
The potential cost to employers of absenteeism is not only a significant financial loss but can also be disruptive to the business and frustrating too.
Emma Ladley, Solicitor with Lester Aldridge LLP, says that employers should look at their workforce today and take a look into employees who may be off today of all days.
Firstly, Ladley says that with employees who simply fail to turn up to work, this is an unauthorised absence. This situation can be dealt with under your business’s disciplinary procedure.
Ladley urges caution though with employees who have followed your absence procedure; just because they are off today does not mean they are "pulling a sickie".
When an absent employee returns to work, employers are advised to conduct a "return to work interview" to establish whether your employee had a genuine illness.
Check the employment contracts and employment policies to see what sick pay your employee may be entitled to and look for any statutory sick pay "waiting days" – these tend to deter instances of one-off days off.
Only if you have found that the employee was not genuinely sick can you then move on to take disciplinary action.
Ladley finishes by reminding employers to act consistently; avoid discrimination and ensure that all disciplinary procedures are fair.