When a worker fails to turn up for work

So a worker hasn't come to work or contacted you, what should you do?

Farmer Freddy sat back with a contented sigh. After a string of difficulties with his previous farm workers, the new one seemed to be working out well.

But, as he glanced out the kitchen window, he noticed the cows were in the same paddock as the day before.

"That's odd," he thought. "The rotation plan had them in a different paddock."

So he put down his cup of tea and went out to see what was up. When he got to the paddock, he noticed - to his horror - that the cows had not been milked.

"Goodness gracious me! What's going on? Maybe something's happened to him," Freddy exclaimed as he raced off to the worker's house. But when he got there, the house was empty and all the worker's belongings were gone.

Freddy is now fuming. But, remembering his heart condition, he takes a deep breath and goes home to phone Pebbles.

"It certainly looks bad, Dad," Pebbles begins, "but you can't assume he's abandoned his work. You'll need to look to see what the employment agreement says. It should say how much time must pass before you can presume he's abandoned his work. It'll probably be three days. What's more, you are also obliged to try to contact him before you can terminate his employment because he's abandoned it."

"There are a few things I'd like to do to him before I terminate his employment, that useless little ..." Freddy starts.

"Just calm down, Dad," Pebbles interrupts. "There's no point getting into a tizzy."

"Presumably, you won't have another address for him, so you could try his cellphone number (if you have it), or an emergency contact number you should have asked for.

"If you get to speak to him, you need to tell him that he must return to his work or he's at risk of being deemed to have abandoned his employment.

"You should give him a time frame to either return to work or contact you. Also, if you can, try to get a postal address, so you can send him the message in writing."

Freddy takes a deep breath. "OK," he says, "I'll try his cellphone. And, actually, now I think of it, he did say he might be moving to his girlfriend's house. That doesn't explain why he hasn't milked the cows though."

"Well, it may pay to make sure that you hadn't given him the morning off," replies Pebbles. "You may have agreed but forgotten to write it down.

"And remember, if he doesn't have a good explanation, you may want to consider having a disciplinary meeting. But whatever you do, give me a call first."

Freddy hangs up the phone, and heads out to milk the cows. "After all of this, I'll need a cup of tea and a lie down," he muses.


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