Dave has an off day. Not a day off.

Dave has an issue at work.

Astute observers will know that Dave usually has some issue or other at work. His friend/advisor, Simon, has little sympathy for him, and tells him both that “stuff happens” (or something like that), and that he is to a great extent the author of his own misfortunes.

“The trouble with you, Dave,” he points out, one afternoon in the FinalVinyl store, “is that you make life difficult for yourself.” Simon is, as usual, right; and as usual, that is small comfort to Dave.

“It’s the staff”, complains Dave.

“What staff?” asks Simon, looking round and seeing precisely no staff in the shop.

“Exactly,” says Dave. “Al’s on holiday again.”

“Er, this is the 21st century, Dave. People are allowed to take holidays.”

“But that much?”

“How much is ‘that much’?”

“Well, it’s three weeks so far this year, and he tells me that he’s going to take a fortnight in the Seychelles in September.”

“That’s still within the minimum that a full-time employee is entitled to. You should know this stuff, but since you’re a bit rocky on it, take a look at Simplify the Law.”

“Them again.” Dave sighs.

“Yes, them again. They’ve got you out of so many holes that I’d think you’d be grateful rather than pulling that face.” Simon goes on to explain about the statutory holidays that staff are entitled to, and Dave grudgingly concedes the point.

“It would be a bit better if he’d let me know in advance, though.” He is determined not to cheer up unnecessarily. “He only told me this morning that he was taking a day’s leave.

“He probably shouldn’t do that,” observes Simon. “It depends what his contract says, or what your unauthorised absence policy has in it.”

“My what?”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake: go and draft one now. It’ll take exactly 1 minute to get a straightforward one from Simplify the Law.”

“What if I don’t like the one they have?”

It’s Simon’s turn to sigh. “Well, if you insist on making life more complicated – again – you can actually download a Word version from them and amend it yourself. They offer that if you have the right subscription. You should get that anyway: they’ve already given you so much support that they’re considering adoption.”

Sure enough, when Al returns from his day’s holiday, Dave presents him with a copy of FinalVinyl’s new “Unauthorised absence” policy, which means that not giving prior notice of a period of absence will make it unauthorised, and potentially subject to disciplinary action.

And Dave lives to grumble another day.

View the solution unauthorised absence

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