This depends on the reason for, and length of, the absence and the procedure that the employer follows. It will be difficult for an employer to argue successfully that its dismissal of an employee for a one-off unauthorised absence that was taken for a good reason was fair. However, if the unauthorised absence is prolonged and/or not for a genuine reason, dismissal is more likely to be fair, provided that the employer follows a fair procedure, as set out in the employee handbook. Every case is different when it comes to absence management and so it is recommended that expert advice is sought before formal action is taken.