insyncHR Case Study 2

What happens if an employee applies for annual leave and the request is denied but the employee takes leave anyway?

Business snapshot

This involved a financial planning business, and the employee involved was a junior account manager.

Business Size

  • Small
  • Industry – Clerical/financial planning
  • 15

insyncHR involvement

  • Reporting to: Partner
  • Drafting correspondence
  • Investigation of complaint
  • Telephone advice


The employee sought annual leave for three days across a weekend. One of the days of leave the employee sought coincided with the businesses end of month reconciliations. The leave request was declined, as the employee had important client meetings booked that day.

Prior to this, the employee had been heard in the office talking about their planned trip to an interstate horse race meet – which happened to fall on the same weekend. The employee attended work on Friday (the first day of their requested leave), but then called in sick on the following Monday. This meant the employee missed the important client meetings scheduled for that afternoon. The employee returned to the office on the following Tuesday morning.


Knowing the discussions about the employees intentions to attend the interstate race meeting, the employer sought the records from the employees supplied mobile phone. The records indicated that he had been interstate over that weekend.

The employee was asked to provide a medical certificate for their absence on Monday. The employee presented a medical certificate to their manager, which stated that the employee had been sick on the date in question. The certificate simply stated that the employee was unfit for work. Although the medical certificate had been provided, the employee was suspended with pay until an investigation could be undertaken, given the phone record information.


After conducting an investigation, it was determined that the employee had lied about their whereabouts on Monday, and was in fact interstate at that time. This brought the sick certificate into question.

Ultimately, the employee was issued a first and final written warning for their conduct.

“Tricky tactics call for legal expertise – protecting your workplace from poor employee conduct.”

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