HR Glossary  >   Absconding



What is Absconding?

Absconding is when an employee does not report to work for 3-4 consecutive days without prior notice or informing their respective managers and the HR department. The absconded employee can be identified when his absence continues or never turns up. The organisation can take necessary actions against employees who abscond without prior information. A well-defined HR policy would provide the guidelines to handle such cases.

For example,
An employee worked with a company for a year. At the beginning of the week, Monday, he did not report to work.
Till the end of the week, i.e., for 6 days, he was not present in the office and did not even turn up to inform the managers or the HRs.
The management was unaware of why the employee was not reporting to work. This employee absconded from work.

What is the difference between absconding and resignation?

Resignation refers to the voluntary act of an employee notifying their employer of their intention to leave their position. This should be done in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment that are typically outlined in the employment contract or company policy. These terms generally include a notice period that the employee must observe. When resigning, employees should provide their reasons for leaving and follow the proper procedures as outlined by the organisation.

Absconding refers to the situation where an employee leaves their job without giving any prior notice to their employer. This is considered an unprofessional and unauthorised way of ending the employment relationship. Absconding may have legal and financial implications for the employee, such as losing certain benefits or facing legal action from the employer.

Top reasons why employees abscond

Employees may choose to abscond from their jobs for a variety of reasons. Some common factors that may contribute to employees deciding to abscond include:

  • Job dissatisfaction: Employees may abscond due to dissatisfaction with their job roles, work environment, compensation, or management.
  • Personal reasons: Personal issues such as health problems, family responsibilities, or other life events may lead employees to take sudden leave without notice.
  • Lack of opportunities: A perceived lack of career advancement or skill development prospects within the organisation can prompt employees to abscond for better opportunities elsewhere.
  • Work-life balance issues: Employees may abscond if their job demands infringe upon their personal life and well-being.
  • Conflict management issues: Employees may leave their jobs due to conflicts with supervisors, coworkers, or workplace culture.
  • Better job offers: Employees may leave suddenly if they receive a more alluring job offer from another company.
  • Burnouts: Workload, long-term stress, and lack of support can cause burnout that may cause sudden departures of employees.
  • Lack of appreciation: Employees may leave a job due to feeling underappreciated, prompting them to seek a more rewarding work environment.

How to ensure employees don’t abscond?

To prevent employees from leaving without notice, it's crucial to establish a positive work environment by implementing various measures.

Here are some strategies:

  • Competitive compensation- Offer comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and other perks, to attract and retain top talent with competitive compensation.
  • Clear expectations and communication- Clearly communicate job expectations, responsibilities, and performance standards to employees. Regular performance feedback and open lines of communication can help address issues before they lead to absconding.
  • Employee engagement- Provide opportunities for career development, training, and mentorship to engage employees actively. Encouraging a positive work culture and seeking employee feedback can also boost engagement.
  • Work-life balance- Ensure employees' work-life balance by offering flexible schedules or remote work.
  • Recognition and rewards- Acknowledge and reward employees for their contributions and achievements. Recognition programs can motivate employees and foster a sense of belonging.
  • Development opportunities- Offer employees opportunities for professional growth and advancement within the organisation. Employees are more likely to stay when they see a clear path for career progression.
  • Exit interviews- Conduct exit interviews to understand the reasons behind employees leaving, identify potential issues, and make necessary improvements to prevent future absconding.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does absconding happen?

The reasons for absconding are:

  • Spontaneous decision
  • Personal reasons or sickness
  • Dissatisfaction from job
  • Mental stress
  • False promises while hiring
  • Unhealthy relation with the team and manager
  • Absence of encouragement in the workplace

Why is absconding not good?

An employee’s reputation is tarnished, and his job profile may be banned, or he may be unable to find a job for absconding. On the other hand, it may risk the organisation's confidential data. Thus, it is terrible for both sides.

How can organisations reduce employee absconding?

Absconding is highly disadvantageous for any organisation. Therefore, they should:

Formulate strong policies regarding absenteeism and absconding. Before onboarding, a new employee always performs background checks. Implement some employee retention strategies and keep employees engaged and motivated. HR

Should the employer continue the salary if an employee absconds?

No. The employer has all rights to stop the payment to the absconder. However, he must clear all the pending dues until the employee’s last day at the organisation.

What happens if absconding takes place during the notice period?

If the absconder does not serve the notice period or resignation, he is responsible for paying the remaining salary for that period.

Why are termination and absconding not similar?

The situation when an employee breaches the employment contract is known as Termination. Meanwhile, the one wherein he remains absent in an informal manner, without any early indication, is called absconding.

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