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Why You Need A No Call/No Show Policy + Free Template

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When an employee doesn't show up at work, the performance of the shift drops. There aren't enough workers to handle all the customers. Those that did come to work get overwhelmed and overworked. To avoid employee burnout and frustrations from employee absenteeism, one needs to address no-call no-show legally, particularly if the employee does it more than once. But how?

Your best course of action is to create a no-call, no-show policy. Read on as we cover everything you need to know, from its mandatory elements to how you should go about implementing it.

Why Should I Have a No Call No Show Policy?

No call no show absences can be grave offenses. When an employee doesn't come to work and omits to inform anyone about it, they impact other employees and your company as a whole. Workers that showed up experienced a drop in morale and efficiency due to being understaffed. Consequently, your customer satisfaction can suffer because you have fewer workers in a shift.

Research supports such claims. The AdvancePCS Center for Work and Health's study showed absenteeism makes U.S. businesses lose almost $226B yearly.

While you can always cover for planned time off, no call no show events make you scramble for cover. And workers. Still, you have to tread carefully. Unjustified termination can lead to high turnover rate, which poses its own set of dangers for your business. So before you take any drastic action, you need to know the whole story behind the employee's absence from work.

Moreover, a quality no call no show policy will adequately address your employee attendance issues and create procedures to handle such situations. Furthermore, it can improve employee productivity by providing clear boundaries and regulations inside your company.

Defining Employee No Call No Show

Life is chaotic. Employees will get sick, stuck in traffic, or have to pick up kids from school suddenly. Sometimes, your workers don't show up. However, not all such situations constitute a severe violation. Only events where your employee failed to acquire prior approval or provide prior notice via phone or app can be considered a no call no show.

A team member can have valid excuses for missing work:

  • Stuck in traffic
  • Missing a train
  • Falling ill

However, in unexpected situations, your workers should still contact you when they find out they won't be able to make it to work on time. This gives you a chance to find a replacement for them and avoid surprises.

How to Develop a No Call No Show Policy

How you organize employee attendance depends on the type of business you run. Model, structure, and niche all come into play. A no call no show policy can't be the same for a restaurant where staff shifts are carefully planned and a marketing agency that can complete all work remotely.

When reading the following tips on developing and implementing your policy, keep that in mind.

What to Include in Your No Call No Show Policy?

Your policy should include all the responsible person's procedures in this event. This way, your employees can know what to expect and the consequences of absconding from work without prior notice. 

You should also include precise guidelines that explain how far in advance your employee should request an absence. Your policy should also clearly outline what is considered a no call no show violation.

It's best to make a list of circumstances when the employee falls in violation. Just make sure you don't miss anything and avoid language that could cause confusion. Your best bet is to be concise and as clear as possible.

Disciplinary Actions

Include no call no show violations in your policy. The best way is to ask yourself questions when writing your policy:

  • How will I discipline employees?
  • When does no call no show termination occur?
  • How many days before termination?

For instance, some of your disciplinary actions can look like this:

  • For their first absence, they can receive a written warning on their record.
  • For their second absence, they can receive a written warning and consultation with HR or management to prevent such behavior in the future.
  • Suppose they have three or more unexcused absences. In that case, they can be subjected to further disciplinary actions, such as termination or suspension.

With a no call no show policy in place, your workers are held accountable for their behavior. And you'll have legal rights to enforce necessary disciplinary actions. You should also include cases where an employee repeats the violation several days in a row. Most policies consider this as job abandonment and voluntary resignation from the position in the company. 

Of course, include possible reinstatements in your policy. For instance, in special circumstances, workers provided a valid reason for their unexcused absence.

Necessary Documentation

In some cases, you'll want your employees to provide a document or signed note that supports their claims regarding why they were unable to show up at work. The document can be one of the requirements listed in your policy or the agreement you've signed with them. 

For example, suppose they were absent from work for three or more days due to injury or illness. In that case, they should provide you with medical documentation as proof. Address what you consider acceptable documentation, such as a fitness for duty release and doctor's note. Also, their PTO can be deducted from their balance for every absent day.

How Many No Call No Show Before Termination?

Some employers may implement a no call no show policy that states staff members can have their employment terminated after two or three consecutive days of not coming in to work. Of course, only if they don't notify the manager about the absence. 

Other employees incorporate stricter rules and terminate employment after a single day of absence. That being said, how many no call no show before termination you accept depends on how lenient you decide to be and the needs of your business. 

Ensure All Employees Understand No call No Show Rules

You've only completed your first step when you establish a no call no show policy. Now it's time to ensure everyone — new hires and existing workers alike — comprehend what you require from them. These are key steps in handling no call no show events you shouldn't overlook. Why write a policy if your workers don't understand it?

Additionally, don't just draft your no-call no-show policy and distribute it via email. You should ensure that all your employees have read and agreed to it. Additionally, if they have any questions or concerns about it, make sure to address them and resolve any ambiguities.

If you skip this part it can come back to haunt you when you have to handle no call no show at work. Suppose you don't have a written record of employees accepting and completely understanding your policy. In that case, they can always come back and say that the provisions of your policy haven't been communicated clearly to them.

If you don't have such a policy, use our template and modify it to match your organization's needs. As we've explained throughout this article, there are significant benefits to having such a policy and ensuring your staff understands it well. 

Improve Your Scheduling Process to Better Address No Call No Show

Even after implementing a no call no show policy, you can still experience problems with employees not showing up to work without notice. 

Yes, you should make sure everyone has read and understood the policy and enforce it consistently. However, you can improve your business scheduling process to avoid no call no show issues in some cases completely. Take a look at your scheduling and ask these questions:

Does my current scheduling process allow for effortless time off requests?

Does my current scheduling process enable employee input on work time?

Does my current scheduling process allow employees to indicate availability easily?

If you answer no to most of these questions, your workers will have a much harder time scheduling missing from work and covering for one another. One way to remedy this is via scheduling software.

The right scheduling software will enable your employees to have their schedules on their computers and phones. Receive notifications with updates and easily enter when they're available for work. In addition, they can easily notify you in advance if they are prevented from coming to work due to illness or injury.

At the same time, your managers can monitor and edit schedules in real-time, leading to fewer no call no show events. Plus, you'll save lots of paper in the process.

Things to Keep in Mind

No Call No Show Termination

You can terminate your employees if they don't show up for work and don't call you in advance about it. When you establish a no call no show policy, you should include the circumstances under which termination can occur. 

Ensuring your employees have read and understood it enables you to take disciplinary action if they miss their shift. How many no call no show instances can occur before termination depends on you.

Of course, it's always a good idea to call your employees and give them a chance to explain before making any drastic decisions. You should also ask for proof of the emergency that leads to absence.

Family and Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Act Vs. No call No Show

Keep in mind that under the (FMLA) Family and Medical Leave Act your worker can take unexpected leave. But only if it's in order with your time off policy. This should be a part of your no call no show policy. However, FMLA still allows exceptions to this rule under unusual circumstances such as medical emergencies.

Moreover, some exceptions from the (ADA) Americans with Disabilites Act also apply to no call no show cases. Keep this in mind before taking any disciplinary action. Otherwise, termination can lead to court retaliation and cause further problems for you. 

Finally, some states and municipalities have their own leave laws. Ensure your policy is in compliance with them.

Writing Up an Employee 

Before you write up your employee for a no call no show:

  1. Ensure that an emergency that prevented from calling hasn't occurred.
  2. If the employee does violate your policy, use your typical employee write up form.
  3. Include the date of absence and other details and circumstances regarding the violation. You should include the subsequent consequences in the event of a repeated violation. 

Write a Sound Policy and See to Its Implementation

Workers make the company. How you manage them and their schedules determine your success. That's why you need a well-written policy for no call no show cases.

It should include when the workers can be excused from work, a time frame for notifying you of their absence, and disciplinary actions. Your policy should also comply with ADA, FMLA, and local and state regulations. 

If you don't have the time or resources to draft a policy all on your own, you can download our No Call No Show Policy template. Fill it out with your information, and you'll be all set.

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