An employee whose attendance was affected by health issues had an arrangement with their manager to work out of an office in another part of the city on days that they had to attend medical appointments. On one of these days, the employee did not attend work. Upon returning to work the employee sought annual leave for their absence. The manager refused and advised the employee that the absences were ‘unauthorised’ and therefore not covered by leave and would be unpaid.
The employee stated on review that the manager had been informed in a telephone discussion prior to the absence that they sought to take annual leave and the manager had agreed. This was not the manager’s recollection and an email to the employee after the phone discussion did not indicate any agreement to take annual leave. The Merit Protection Commissioner recommended that the decision to treat the employee’s absence as unauthorised be confirmed.