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Concern about absence letter

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Absence and attendance template toolkit:

Our Concern about absence Letter template assists employers in addressing and expressing concerns regarding an employee's absence from work.

Use this model letter to notify an employee that you have a concern over their level of absence, that may warrant disciplinary action should it happen again.

Reading time
How long to understand and implement this letter?
10 mins
Word count
How many words in this letter?
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What is a Concern about absence letter?

A concern about absence letter communicates attendance concerns, providing dates and impact on the workplace.

It aims to improve attendance, outlining consequences and actionable steps for the individual. Sensitivity and focus on solutions are essential, and additional support may be required if underlying issues contribute to absences.

This letter should be used after this is raised with the employee for the first time (before a verbal warning). An informal discussion is often all you need to improve an employee’s absence.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this letter be issued?
As soon as possible after the empoyee exceeds a threshold, or after a meeting to discuss concerns
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this letter, and to whom?
The Employer (you) to the Employee
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this letter be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

How can I ensure that this letteris executed effectively?

Step Description Responsible Party Timing (Days from Absence)
1 Absence Tracking: Monitor and record the employee's absence, noting any recurring or extended periods of absence. HR / Supervisor N/A
2 Initial Discussion: Schedule a private meeting with the absent employee to discuss the concern about their absence. HR / Supervisor Day 1
3 Document Meeting: Document the discussion, highlighting the employee's absence pattern and its impact on work. HR / Supervisor Day 2
4 Review and Decision: Review the absence history and documentation to determine if further action is necessary. HR / Management Team Day 3
5 Issue Concern about Absence Letter: If needed, issue a formal Concern about Absence Letter to the employee, expressing concerns and requesting attendance improvement. HR / Management Team Day 4 (Or as deemed appropriate)

What legislation and best practice guidelines have been taken into account in the development of this template?

United Kingdom
  • The Equality Act 2010: This law prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of protected characteristics such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. Employers should ensure that the letter does not discriminate against any employee based on any of these characteristics.

  • The Data Protection Act 2018: This law sets out the requirements for processing personal data, including employee data. Employers should ensure that they are complying with data protection requirements when drafting the letter and that they obtain the employee's consent to process their personal data.

  • The company's own policies and procedures: Employers should also consider any relevant company policies or procedures that apply to absence management and ensure that they are following them appropriately. This may include policies on sickness absence reporting, absence notification procedures, and return-to-work interviews.

  • The Employment Rights Act 1996: This law sets out the requirements for written terms and conditions of employment. Employers should ensure that any concerns about absence are communicated to the employee in writing and that the employee has the opportunity to respond to the concerns.

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: This law sets out the requirements for ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of employees in the workplace. Employers should consider any health and safety implications of the employee's absence and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to address any concerns.

It is important for employers to handle concerns about absence in a sensitive and supportive manner, taking into account any underlying health conditions or other factors that may be contributing to the employee's absence. The letter should be drafted in a professional and respectful tone, with a clear explanation of the concerns and any available support or resources that may be available to the employee.

Other territories

Consult your jurisdiction's employment legislation or labor laws to ensure compliance with the template. Review the language for local precision.

Concern about absence [Delete this line]

[Company name]

[Sender address]



[Recipient name]

[Recipient address]


Dear [Recipient first name],


Concern over your absence

[I refer to our meeting held on [date] in which we discussed my concerns that | It has come to my attention that] since [insert date] you have taken [total days] days sick absence in the last 12 months over [total occasions] occasions.

Regular attendance is required of all employees of [insert employers name]. Poor attendance decreases productivity and places a burden on colleagues.

[In our discussion you were [not] able to provide me with a reasonable explanation for the [frequency/type of absence etc.][, and we discussed what action you would take to try to improve the situation (describe i.e. obtain specialist help / contact GP for medication etc.)]

I have decided that on this occasion, no formal disciplinary action will be taken against you in relation to the matters discussed.

Please note that whilst I have decided not to take any action this time, I do require that an immediate and sustained improvement is made in relation to your attendance. Should there be any further absence in the next [months] months, this will be the subject of a further review and the disciplinary procedure may be invoked and appropriate disciplinary action may be taken.

I am keen to assist you in reducing your level of absence, and if there is any additional support or adjustments which may assist you to reduce your absence levels, please let me know.

If you have any further difficulties or concerns about this, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours [faithfully | sincerely],



[Sender name]

[Sender job title]

[Sender telephone]
[Sender email]

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In which communication or process sequence does this template belong?

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Absence review meeting script

Our Absence Review Meeting Script Template facilitates constructive discussions, identifying causes and solutions for improved attendance.

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Concern about absence letter template
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Verbal warning for excessive absence letter template

Our Verbal Warning for Excessive Absence Letter Template addresses attendance issues professionally, promoting improved attendance and accountability.

Concern about absence letter
concern about absence letter