How to Write a Letter of Reprimand for Absenteeism

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A letter of reprimand for absenteeism is a formal step that could lead to termination, demotion or a reduction in work hours. The letter indicates that management has serious concerns about the employee's commitment to the job or the ability to perform duties responsibly. Typing the letter on company letterhead and hand delivering it in a sealed envelope adds impact. The goal is to force the employee to realize that his attendance record must improve.

  • Review your notes to confirm that the employee has received verbal reprimands for absenteeism. Note the date of the verbal reprimands and the employee's response. Note if the employee promised to correct the problem but failed to do so.

  • Reprimand the employee in the first paragraph of the letter. Inform the employee that the letter is serving as a formal reprimand for absenteeism, and that further corrective action is possible if the situation continues.

  • Detail the absenteeism in the second paragraph. Use time sheets or records provided by human resources to note the days the employee missed with excused or unexcused absences. Tell the employee why frequent absences are bad for the employee and the company. Explain that chronic absenteeism causes the employee's co-workers to lose confidence in the employee, or it costs the company money because of lost production.

  • Close the letter by explaining what the employee must do to get back on track. For example, explain that for the next six months the employee must request days off in advance in writing. Also note that the employee must provide a doctor's note for absences because of illness. Tell the employee that failure to abide by to the rules could lead to more disciplinary correction, up to and including termination. In the final paragraph refer the employee to counseling programs if recurring personal or family problems are the reason for the absenteeism.

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