One of our clients called us at 10:30am on Monday – an employee was 90 minutes late and counting.

There’d heard nothing from him, no excuses or explanations, despite trying to call him.

What they wanted to know was whether they could just fire him on the spot.

The employee in question was a rather troublesome character, and they were already speaking to us about how they could part company with him.

So when he didn’t turn up, it seemed like all their Christmases had come at once.

Except they hadn’t – you can’t just “fire” someone if they don’t turn up for work.

Instead, here’s what you need to do:

Day 1

  • Send them a text asking them if everything is alright and to get in touch
  • Ditto WhatsApp
  • Ditto an email
  • Ditto you call their mobile and leave a voicemail saying the above
  • You also send the same sort of message to their next of kin.

Take screenshots of the messages and calls.

Day 2

If they have not come back to you by the end of day 1, then you send them a letter (by all the above methods as well) saying that they need to get in touch with you by 5pm on the following work day. If they have a protected characteristic, we’d recommend an extra day to get in touch.

Day 3 / 4

If nothing has been heard, then you have the option to start the dismissal process. Call us at this point, as the correct process will depend on their length of service and protected characteristics.

If you have done all the steps on Days 1 & 2, you’ll have a solid foundation for a dismissal.

If you haven’t, they’ll have a solid unfair dismissal or discrimination claim.

And don’t worry – they will either get in touch before the deadline runs out or weeks afterwards (because, it turns out, they were in gaol!).


Have a Question? Get in touch below...

    If you are an employee and feel that you have been treated badly, then we strongly advise you to contact ACAS:

    Call the ACAS Helpline on 0300 123 1100 for free support and advice.

    Simply get in touch and they'll provide you with clear and confidential guidance about any kind of dispute or query that you have about relationship issues within the workplace.

    You may want to know about employment rights and rules, best practice or you may need advice about a dispute.

    Whatever it is, just give ACAS a call, their team are on hand to respond within the hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm.

    Who We Work With