St Patrick’s Day: Have you prepared for absenteeism?

Last updated: March 20th, 2024

Published: March 20th 2024

Following national celebrations and public holidays like St Patrick’s day, you could find yourself down several staff members.

And – as business owners know all too well – an increase in absences can cause its fair share of problems.

So, what can you do if employees feel the ill-effects of weekend celebrations?

Put an absenteeism policy in place

Policies should never be overlooked. An absenteeism policy will outline how employee absences should be dealt with.

The policy will also help you handle absences in a fair and consistent manner.

Has the employee complied with the policy?

As with any absence, the employee should notify you right away. An absenteeism policy should clarify this. In this event, it’s important employers confirm this has happened in the required manner.

Keep in contact

Reach out to the employee to establish why they’re absent. When you do, record the time and the methods you used to establish contact. These will come in useful during future enquires.

Do absent employees get paid?

Employers are under no general obligation to pay wages during unauthorised periods of absence. That said, your employment contract may state otherwise. If not, the employee is not entitled to receive pay during unauthorised absences.

The benefit of a return-to-work interview

A return-to-work interview can answer a lot of questions. It can also help you establish better processes when it comes to handling absence. Meanwhile, if the returning employee is unable to explain themselves, you may need to take action.

How to handle repeat offenders

What if a certain employee keeps missing days? In that case, it may be time to begin formal disciplinary action.

This is never the first option, but it can put a stop to constant short-term absences.

Indeed, according to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), frequent absenteeism can justify dismissal.

Take a measured approach

Unauthorised absences can occur for a host of reasons. If they start to pile up, this can create a frustrating situation for employers. Still it’s important not to overreact. It’s instead advised that employers investigate each absence before deciding what action to take.

Need our help?

If you would like further complimentary advice on the absenteeism from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call. Call us on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Latest Resources

Seasonal workers: what employers should know

Seasonal workers
As the days get longer and the skies get sunnier (well, sometimes), summer is on people’s minds. This means that business owners, meanwhile, are starting […]

What Employees Are Entitled to a Public Holiday Benefit & How Are Benefits Calculated?

public holiday
Published: March 20th 2024 From Easter Monday to St Patrick’s Day, Ireland gets ten public holidays and, with them, public holiday benefits. But what if […]

What happens when workplace romances go wrong

workplace romances gone wrong
First published: February 14th 2024 Last updated: February 14th 2024 Love makes the world go round, or so they say. But what effect does love […]

Olga Shevchenko

Director/Advocate, Immigration Advice Bureau

Olga Shevchenko specialises in immigration advocacy and consultancy, in particular, employment permit, visas, family reunification, citizenship, etc, for those seeking to visit, reside or invest in Ireland.

Olga provides extensive information, knowledge, and support to her clients, enabling access to positive solutions for people struggling to handle the immigration law.

Minister Neale Richmond

Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Neale Richmond TD was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with special responsibility for Employment Affairs and Retail Business and the Department of Social Protection in January 2023.

Much of his work at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is with businesses, workers, their representative bodies and the State Agencies to ensure that the economic recovery and growth extends to all parts of the country. He works closely with the SME sector, including retail, on building resilience and on the transition to the green and digital economies.

Mark Carpenter

Director of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Sky

Mark Carpenter is Director of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs at Sky Ireland. In this role he has responsibility for External and Internal Communications, Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs and the company’s ‘Bigger Picture’ (CSR) programme. He also works closely with Sky Group teams on a variety of matters, in particular our partnerships with domestic broadcasters.

Prior to working at Sky, Mark worked as a Policy Officer in Houses of the Oireachtas and as a Management Consultant at Accenture. He has a BA in History from Oxford University and a PhD in Political Science from Trinity College Dublin.

Nora Cashe

Litigation and Compliance Manager, Peninsula

Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

Managing Director, Genos International Europe

Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

Senior HR Consultant, Graphite HRM

Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Chairman, Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.