No Call No Show Policy Template - What Is It and How to Create One

Commitment and reliability are essential qualities that every company should seek in its employees. These traits shine most prominently when employees show up for work as scheduled. 

While not all employees may be equally committed to your company’s mission, they can be encouraged to uphold it. The key? A well-structured no call, no show policy.

In this article, we'll delve into the nuances of a typical no call no show policy and the advantages it can offer your business. 

No Call No Show Policy Template - What Is It and How to Create One
In this guide, you’ll learn:
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We’ll also share a step-by-step guide on crafting an effective no call no show policy, together with a free no call no show policy template and insights on addressing these types of situations.


Without further ado, let’s start.

No Call, No Show – Legal Definition

Law Insider, a platform dedicated to helping lawyers and business owners negotiate contracts more easily, defines No Call No Show as absenteeism from work obligations where an employee does not show up for work or is late more than 30 minutes without reporting to management.

In other words, in a no call no show situation, an employee won’t show up for their shift, and they won’t call in to inform a manager, employer, or supervisor that they won’t be coming. 

The meaning of “a call” is not always restricted to an actual phone call. It could include any company-approved communication, such as email, messaging apps, etc.

Additionally, it's important to note that, in the US, no call no show situations are not specifically regulated by either state or federal labor laws. There are no distinct rules or obligations that an employee or an employer must follow when creating a no call no show policy. 

The implication is that in almost all situations, employers in the US have the right to decide whether to terminate an employee who misses their scheduled shift without notifying the appropriate personnel. However, there are some exceptions.

For example, in the state of Washington, all employees are eligible for one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours of work they perform. And, if a specific employee meets these particular criteria, they are not required, by virtue of state law, to inform their managers, employers, or supervisors about being away from work in the case of a serious ailment, either mental or physical. There are also other exceptions, like taking care of a sick or injured family member, various emergency situations like natural disasters, etc.

For the most part, this means that employers in the United States have a legal right to establish their own no call no show policies, as long as those policies don’t violate state or federal laws. Because of that, we recommend that US-based employers consult a lawyer (preferably one specializing in employment law) to help with creating or reviewing the No Call No Show policy.

Now, whether you choose to follow our advice or not, it’s fully up to you. But try and keep in mind the following exceptions and valid reasons for no call no show

Examples of Valid Reasons for No Call No Show

As we touched upon in the previous section, there are legitimate reasons and excuses for an employee to not call into work and notify their supervisor about their attendance, or lack thereof. Terry Katz, a US-based attorney, lists some of the reasons why it’s admissible to miss work in his article. Let’s review the most common ones.

  • Car or other accidents. Various mishaps, particularly where they lead to serious injuries of employees or their loved ones;
  • Emergency situations. Any situation where an employee's life or the life of their loved ones is in danger;
  • Death of a family member or a loved one;
  • Car or transportation issues;

If any of the above situations apply, it could be troublesome (in some cases exceedingly difficult) for employees to call in and notify their managers about missing work. 

Unfortunately, these situations are part of life, which is why they’re regarded as valid reasons for a no call no show. So, when creating your own no call no show policy, definitely keep the above-mentioned reasons in mind. 

One more thing we should note is that, generally speaking, it’s almost impossible to clearly define what reasons are fully legitimate. Each situation will be different and should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with fairness and equality in mind. Focus on setting up protocols and guides incorporating valid and legitimate excuses that you and your company believe are acceptable. 

Why Is a No Call No Show Policy Important?

Creating a no call no show policy can benefit your company. It not only protects your business from unjustified no call no show situations but also provides your employees with clear guidelines and disciplinary actions that follow this behavior.

The most common benefits of a no call no show policy are the following.

1. Increased Employee Productivity

Increased productivity is one of the, if not the most impactful, benefits of a no call no show policy. Attendance issues and unplanned absences, including no call no show situations, can lead to an overall decrease in productivity by a whopping 36.6%, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. 

Every time an unplanned absence occurs, present employees are left to pick up the slack. Anyone who did show up for work will now have to compensate and pick up the tasks of the employee who didn’t. These situations will not only put extra work on the plate of some employees but can also add stress and pressure. If this happens regularly, it could lead to burnout.

Of course, preventing no call no show situations entirely is impossible, even with a no call no show policy. But, you can minimize them to a point where it doesn’t affect your business or team as much, which, in turn, will positively impact productivity levels. 

2. Prevent Employee From Abusing Attendance Systems

If your company's attendance system is outdated, some employees may take advantage of it by not showing up for work and not informing their supervisors about their absence. And if there are no consequences or disciplinary actions for this type of behavior, it will likely continue to happen. 

A no call no show policy will hold your employees accountable for giving proper notice when they’re unable to work.

Furthermore, a no call no show policy will provide your employees with rules and guidance about what’s expected and allowed and the consequences of not adhering to those rules.

3. Cost Savings

The likelihood of having to spend additional money on either finding a replacement or paying overtime to employees tasked with completing the work of their absent colleague can be avoided with a no call no show policy. In other words, a no call no show policy will lead to cost savings. 

Let’s review in detail the relationship between a no call no show policy and cost reductions.

Reduction in Costs Incurred for Overtime

Employee absence, especially unplanned ones, leads to delays and unfinished work. In most cases, this needs to be compensated with overtime work, increasing the total overtime costs for your company. With a no call no show policy you can disincentivize unscheduled absences among your employees and save money on overtime costs.

Saving on Hiring Temps or Temporary Workers 

Another option for dealing with unscheduled employee absences is to hire temporary workers to take over. These hires are costly, especially if they are starting work on short notice, which is usually the case with no call no show situations. Hiring extra workers to replace absentees increases labor costs. Fortunately, a no call no show policy helps prevent or limit these costs. 

Reduced Absenteeism Costs

Absenteeism itself comes with additional costs to companies. The CDC estimates that in the US alone, absenteeism costs employers around $225.8 billion each year. A clear set of rules and guidelines regarding this specific type of absenteeism – a no call no show policy – can help mitigate some of those costs. 

Such a policy will encourage employees to regularly show up to work by outlining the consequences, inducing financial penalties they might incur due to failing to follow company rules.

4. Increased Accountability

A no call no show policy can help promote employee accountability by emphasizing the importance of regularly attending work and fulfilling work obligations. It further encourages employees to take their jobs seriously and give proper and timely notice if they cannot attend work.

8 Steps – Creating a No Call No Show Policy

How to create a No Call No Show Policy

Step 1 – Outline the Purpose of the No Call No Show Policy

The first step to creating your own no call no show policy is to express the main purpose or purposes behind it. This part of the policy is added to ensure your employees are informed about the policy’s expectations and its consequences. 

The exact purpose and expectations of the policy depend on the nature of your business, work schedules, employee rank, and many other things. But, for the most part, the general purpose of the no call no show policy will be closely associated with punctuality and regular attendance of your employees. It can also include a section about appropriate notice times for different situations. 

Step 2 – Define What Constitutes a No Call No Show Case

The second step in creating a no call no show policy is to clearly define what your company considers a no call no show situation. For example, you can include a paragraph that states the following:

“Every situation in which an employee doesn't come to work, while also failing to give notice as to the exact reasons behind their absence, will be considered a no call no show case by our company.”

Step 3 – Specify Proper Notification Methods

In the third step of creating a no call no show policy, you should specify the expected communication methods your employees can or should use to provide proper notice to their managers. These communication methods could be:

  • Verbal in-person communication;
  • Communication through email or work messaging apps; 
  • Communication via text message or phone;

Additionally, in this part of your no call no show policy, you should also define the proper time period during which employees are obligated to send in their notice of absence. These periods can vary from company to company and can be more strict or lenient depending on the work culture, industry, and specific business. Here’s an example of how this would look like.

All employees must give notice of absence at least 30 minutes before the start of their work day. Any failure to do so will be considered a no call no show situation and will be accompanied by appropriate disciplinary measures.”

Step 4 – Write Out the Disciplinary Actions or Process

Next, focus on outlining all the disciplinary actions and consequences your employees will face in the case of a no call no show situation. 

You could add corrective actions like the ones described here.


  • The first no call no show occurrence will result in a verbal warning;
  • A second occurrence will result in a formal written notice sent to the employee;
  • A third no call no show occurrence will lead to a pay reduction or a full suspension of pay for the employee in violation of company policy;
  • A fourth occurrence will lead to a direct termination of the employment contract;

Step 5 – List All Acceptable No Call No Show Situations 

Every no call no show policy should include a list of acceptable situations and exceptions to its rules. Some of the exceptions that you can include in your no call no show policy are the following.

  • Natural disasters and severe weather conditions (i.e., hurricanes, earthquakes, heavy snowfall or rain, etc.)
  • Health problems, either personal or that of a family member;
  • Serious injuries or accidents that pose a high risk to wellbeing, either personal or that of a family member;
  • Death of a family member or loved one;

In addition to exceptions to the rules, you should also stipulate that employees are obligated to inform their managers of the reasons for absence as soon as their situation allows. In other words, employees are responsible for notifying their supervisor as soon as possible, even in justified absences. The best way to look at it is as a delayed notice of absence. Here’s an example of how you could include this disclaimer in your policy.

Employees in a justified no call no show situation, still have to give notice to their direct supervisors. Depending on the severity of the situation, the notice period should not exceed two days from the exact day of absence.” 

Step 6 – Clearly Inform Your Employees About the No Call No Show Policy

Step six of creating a no call no show policy refers to communication. Ensure that all employees know and understand the rules and consequences outlined in the policy.

The following are some common ways to communicate these policies with employees. 

  • Employee manual or handbook;
  • In-person or virtual meeting;
  • Email chain;
  • Work messaging app (i.e., Slack, Microsoft Teams, Pumble, etc.)

Additionally, open new communication avenues and encourage employees to ask questions and share their feedback about your company’s no call no show policy. 

Step 7 – Revise the Policy

If necessary, try to regularly review and update your no call no show policy. Consider the changes inside the company (i.e., size, number of clients, available resources, etc.), state or federal laws, and employee feedback when revising the policy.

Step 8 – Take Into Account Applicable Local, State or Federal Laws

When creating a no call no show policy, you should consider all applicable state or federal labor laws. Your policy has to adhere to all the rules and regulations of your state and country, such as the FLSA that regulates: 

  • Overtime;
  • Minimum wage;
  • Work hours;
  • Time tracking and keeping of employee records;
  • etc.;

That’s why it’s advisable to acquire legal assistance before implementing any type of policy within your company.

4 Additional Tips to Deal With No Call No Show Situations

1. Use Time Tracking App to Clock In

Setting up a dedicated time-tracking system using software is a good way to deal with no call no show situations. A lot of time-tracking apps are equipped with various types of attendance and absence features that allow companies, managers, and employers to more easily track which employees have and who didn’t show up for work. 

This is especially true for medium to large companies that have to track the attendance of a larger number of employees. Using a digital solution to help you with both the time and attendance of your employees is one of the surefire ways to successfully deal with no call no show situations. 

2. Use a Work Messaging App

Work messaging apps, like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Pumble, can provide your company and teams with a streamlined way of communicating with each other. When communication between employees and their supervisors is easy and quick, the chance of a no call no show situation is minimized.

A work messaging app will enable your employees to contact you or their direct managers at any time of the day. This allows them to give notice and share their reasons for missing work quickly and without too much hassle, whether or not those reasons end up being valid or not.

3. Promote Open Communication and a Positive Work Culture

Nurturing honest and open communication within your company may not only help create a more positive work culture but is also a good way of dealing with no call no show situations. 

By encouraging your employees to be more open and communicative, they will be more at ease about asking for time off, especially when they're dealing with personal problems. This will, in turn, lead to improved team cohesion and collaboration, but, more importantly, it will also lower the chances of your employees getting entangled with a no call no show situation.

4. Reward Good Attendance

According to a recent study done at Zhejiang University of China, affirmation and rewarding of positive work outcomes can have a beneficial effect on the overall performance of employees. 

Setting up reward systems and various types of incentives for employees with good attendance records might help deal with or reduce the chances of no call no show situations from ever occurring. 

Types of rewards o to consider giving to employees with good attendance are:

  • Work-appropriate presents, fruit and other types of gift baskets, etc;
  • Additional time off, various forms of employee recognition or praise;
  • Financial rewards, bonuses, gift cards, etc.

If you want an easy template to use as the basis of your no call no show policy, feel free to use ours!