“The big thing to remember when you’re dealing with attendance management is, if it’s a problem, get yourself a policy. And then when you’re applying the policy, make sure that you have very clear standards that employees are expected to meet.”
So says Chris Pelkey, an employment and labour lawyer at McInnes Cooper in Fredericton, after a New Brunswick arbitrator upheld the dismissal of a worker who was disciplined four times for breaching the employer’s attendance policy and then fired for insubordinate conduct.
Kent Homes is a manufacturer of prefabricated wooden homes and structures in Bouctouche, NB. The company had an Attendance Awareness Program (AAP) to regulate absenteeism of workers, as unexpected and excessive absenteeism could disrupt the manufacturing operation. The AAP set a permissible absenteeism rate of four percent with discipline for employees who exceeded that threshold.