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Excused Absence Definition



The scheduled or unscheduled time off from work that occurs when an employee is not present at work during a normally scheduled work period is called an absence. An excused absence is an absence that the employee schedules in advance with his or her manager or supervisor or for which the employee provides an acceptable reason upon return to work.

An excused absence is scheduled in advance for such events as vacation, medical appointments, military service, family activities, surgery, jury duty, funerals and more. Generally, these are events that cannot be scheduled outside of regular work hours.

By company guidelines and procedures, even employees who have paid time off (PTO) or vacation days, sick days, and so forth, that are provided by their companies, are asked to schedule the time off in advance. This allows the manager to plan coverage for the work in the employee's absence. This is much easier to do when the employee's work is knowledge work rather than a customer facing or production role.Absences are generally compensated when their frequency and rationale fall within the guidelines established in the organization's attendance policy. These compensated absences may depend upon certain required employee actions such as seeking permission for scheduled absences from work in advance, or calling in to report an unscheduled absence within the organization's timelines and expectations.

In companies that have an attendance policy, especially for nonexempt employees, excused absences can include days that are excused after the fact by the submission of items such as a doctor's note attesting that the employee was sick. Companies that track excused vs. unexcused absences normally have a written policy that provides guidelines for employees.

In these companies, excused vs. unexcused absences may be significant in that too many unexcused absences can mean dismissal from the job.

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