Warning Letter to Employee for Unauthorised Absence Sample

In this article, I’ll provide a detailed, step-by-step guide to help you create an effective warning letter for unauthorised absence. Plus, I’ll offer a customizable template to get you started.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the Importance: Recognise the impact of unauthorised absences on your team and productivity.
  • Gather Facts: Compile all relevant details of the unauthorised absence before drafting your letter.
  • Communicate Clearly: Use a firm yet empathetic tone to address the issue.
  • Follow Company Policy: Ensure your letter aligns with your organization’s HR policies.
  • Personalize Your Approach: Tailor the letter to the individual situation and the employee’s history.
  • Provide a Clear Call to Action: Specify what steps the employee needs to take next.
  • Seek Legal Advice: When necessary, consult with your legal team to ensure compliance with employment laws.

Step 1: Understand the Employee’s Situation

Before drafting the warning letter, it’s crucial to investigate the circumstances surrounding the unauthorised absence. Sometimes, there are valid reasons for an employee’s failure to notify or seek permission.

Understanding the context will not only inform the tone of your letter but also demonstrate your compassion as an employer.

Step 2: Review Company Policy

Familiarize yourself with your organization’s policy on absences. This ensures that the warning letter you write is consistent with your company’s disciplinary procedures. It also helps in maintaining fairness and transparency throughout the process.

Step 3: Document the Absence

Gather all factual information regarding the unauthorised absence, including dates, previous warnings (if any), and any communication attempts with the employee. This documentation will serve as the foundation for your warning letter.

Step 4: Draft the Letter

Begin with a clear statement of the issue, followed by any evidence of the unauthorised absence. Ensure your tone is firm yet respectful. Outline the impact of the employee’s actions on the team and the organization. Then, refer to the specific company policy that has been violated.

Warning Letter Template for Unauthorised Absence


[Employee Name]
[Employee Address]

Dear [Employee Name],

This letter serves as a formal warning regarding your unauthorised absence from work on [dates of absence]. Despite our attempts to contact you, we received no prior notification or explanation for your absence.

Your absence has not only affected team productivity but has also placed an additional burden on your colleagues. As per our company policy on unauthorised absences, detailed in the employee handbook, it’s essential for all employees to notify their supervisor in advance of any expected absences.

We value your contributions to the team and understand that unforeseen circumstances can occur. However, it is crucial to communicate any issues that prevent you from attending work as scheduled. Moving forward, please ensure that you follow the proper protocol for notifying your absence.

Failure to adhere to company policies in the future may result in further disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter and your understanding of its contents by signing and returning a copy by [return date].

We hope to see an improvement in your attendance and encourage you to discuss any issues that may prevent you from adhering to our attendance policy.


[Your Name]
[Your Position]
[Company Name]

Step 5: Offer Support and a Path Forward

It’s important to not only address the issue at hand but also to offer support and guidance on how the employee can improve. Include information on whom they can speak to if they’re facing challenges that affect their attendance.

Step 6: Follow Up

After the letter has been delivered, schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss the letter and any concerns the employee might have. This meeting is also an opportunity to reiterate your support and discuss any adjustments or accommodations that might be needed.

Personal Tips from Experience

  • Empathy Matters: Always approach the situation with empathy. Understanding the employee’s perspective can lead to a more constructive conversation.
  • Consistency is Key: Apply the same process and considerations for all employees to ensure fairness.
  • Documentation: Keep detailed records of all communications and actions taken, as these can be crucial for future reference.


Writing a warning letter for unauthorised absence is a delicate task that requires a balance of firmness and understanding. By following these steps and utilizing the template provided, you can ensure that your message is clear and effective, while also maintaining a supportive tone.

Remember, the goal is not just to address the current issue but to prevent future occurrences and foster a culture of responsibility and open communication.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Have you ever had to write a warning letter for unauthorised absence? What strategies worked best for you? Please share your comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A middle-aged Hispanic woman in business casual attire

Q: What is a warning letter to employee for unauthorized absence?

Answer: A warning letter to employee for unauthorized absence is a formal document issued by an employer or HR manager. The letter is used to address the issue of an employee’s absences from work without prior notice or approval. 

It states the specific dates of unauthorized absences, refers to the company’s attendance policy that the employee violated, and outlines the potential consequences if such behavior continues.

Q: When should a warning letter for unauthorized absence be issued to employee?

Answer: A warning letter for unauthorized absence should ideally be issued after initial verbal discussions or reminders about the issue have been unsuccessful in correcting the behavior. 

It can also be issued if the employee’s absences are frequent, causing significant disruption to the workplace, or if they are in clear violation of the company’s attendance policy.

Q: What should be included in a warning letter to employee for unauthorized absence?

Answer: A warning letter to employee for unauthorized absence should include specific details about the unauthorized absences, such as the dates and number of times the employee was absent. 

It should also refer to the company’s attendance policy, explaining how the employee’s actions violate this policy. The letter should document any previous warnings or discussions about the issue, outline potential consequences for continued unauthorized absences, and express the company’s expectations moving forward.

Q: What is the purpose of issuing a warning letter to employee for unauthorized absence?

Answer: The main purpose of issuing a warning letter to employee for unauthorized absence is to formally communicate the issue, express concern over the employee’s behavior, and prompt corrective action. 

It also serves as a record for the company, showing that they have taken steps to address the issue, which may be important if further disciplinary action becomes necessary.

Q: Can a warning letter for unauthorized absence lead to termination?

Answer: Yes, if the behavior continues after the warning letter for unauthorized absence has been issued, it may lead to further disciplinary actions, including possible termination, depending on the company’s policies. 

However, this is usually a last resort after multiple attempts have been made to rectify the behavior, and all actions should comply with local labor laws and regulations.

Q: How should a warning letter for unauthorized absence be delivered to the employee?

Answer: A warning letter for unauthorized absence should ideally be delivered in person to ensure the employee receives it and understands its contents. If this isn’t possible, it can be sent via registered mail or email. 

The delivery method should ensure the employee’s acknowledgment of receipt, either through a signed copy of the letter or an email confirmation.

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