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Thursday, July 23, 2009

On AWOL and Training Allowance

I received two questions from readers on the topic recently. I have already responded to them but decided to share my thought with the rest of yous in this blog.

First question:

What does AWOL mean?

if you informed your supervisor about the reason why you are absent prior to start of shift and submitted a medical certificate to certify sickness, is it still considered AWOL?

My answer:
AWOL is absence without leave. In other companies, they add the word "official" so it becomes "Absence Without Official Leave". It means that if you did not abide by the company's policy on filing or notification, it will be considered a violation of company's attendance policy. Now, if you followed the rules, there is no reason for them to charge you with that violation. If they think your reason is not sufficient excuse to be absent, the one thing they can do is disapprove your leave application. Hence, you will not be able to use your leave credit. Many supervisors get confused with these rules and fail to apply the appropriate measures. I suggest that you go back to your supervisor and point out how you followed the company policy on filing for sick leave. If you are not satisfied. you can always bring up your concern to HR.

2nd Question:

Hi! I have been recently hired by an employer . I will be assigned to a new branch. Since the new branch isn't finished yet, they told us to come to the first branch to come for training. I have already been training for 4 days now. (training days are usually on weekends) And then I find out that there is no training allowance. The employer said that they want us to use that time to familiarize ourselves with the stuff needed for the job, therefore the training would not be paid until the new branch opens. Problem is, the new branch is slated to open August 1 but because of other circumstances, it might be later. Is this fair? No allowance until the new branch opens?

My answer:

From an employee perspective, I say that you get what you bargain for. You need to be clear about the details of the engagement including training allowances before getting on board so you won't be frustrated. If and only if you are happy with the deal should you move forward with the engagement. If you feel you've been tricked, move out of there unless you want more tricks in the future.

From an employers perspective, I opine that not giving employees allowance during training is cold especially in a country like ours where a lot of workers get so little in exchange for back-breaking work. The least you can do for your trainees is cover their transportation and meal expenses while they are undergoing "training" which to some of us became synonimous to free or cheap labor. I'm not a lawyer and I'm not sure if there's a law that prescribes giving training allowance. I just think that giving them is the right and moral thing to do.

By the way, to those who are wondering why their questions were not featured here, let me tell you that I receive them and has replied to most of you. I choose what I post depending on how I feel about their usefulness to others. There are some questions that I completely ignore because they are hard to understand.

If you have any questions and you think you can benefit from my opinions, please send them using the form on the right or by posting your question in the comment section of this blog like others do. When you do however, please give me enough details to go with.


  1. Anonymous4:11 PM

    my company before told me that im AWOL but the fact is that i dont have any appointment letter receive for the new work and i'm on vacation that time and send them a irrevocable resignation letter on the day of vacation time i had wid them due to some reasons that causes problem to me personally.does my company right that i am consider AWOL even the fact that i dont receive and sign any appointment letter and mean that i don't have any work undone?are they right that i can not receive my separation pay due to that reason even i send them irrevocable resignation?
    thank you and hope that you can help me through this..GOD Bless

  2. I can't say for certain who is right or wrong in your case without a thorough understanding of the circumstances and your company's policy. You should clarify this with your employer and if you feel there is reason for you to feel aggrieved, you should file your complaint to Department of Labor and Employment.

  3. Anonymous12:04 AM

    Hi Sir.
    I just started as a trainee for 2 weeks now and wanted to resign immediately because the other company I applied for contacted me just now. Is it possible to transfer to another company even if I started trainee already in my current company?

  4. It is not the nicest thing to do but I guess quitting is better if you don't really want to work there. Because if you do, you don't even have to consider your other applications.

  5. Anonymous3:50 AM

    Im a trainee for 1 and half already and ill be out town for 3 days. Its an emergency because a relative died. Will they allow me to leave for 3 days or will they terminate me right away?

    1. I can't guess what they're going to do. Why don't you ask them?

  6. Anonymous3:51 AM

    I mean 1 week and half

  7. Nelson G. Sevilla12:56 PM

    We are in the process of formulating an incentive scheme to our welders in order to reduce the repair or rejection rate. if in one month they will be able to weld a minimum no. of joints with a 5% rejection rate, they will be entitled to an incentive of 3,000 pesos.
    However, if the rejection rate will be too high, they will be sent back to our welding school for re-training with no salary but only training allowance since they are not working but only training. Is this legal or not?

  8. Make it part of your incentives or performance management policy where the training becomes part of the remedial process which can probably lead to termination of employment if performance target is consistently not met for some period. Have people sign off on the policy as a proof that they accept the condition. I still suggest that you show your policy to a lawyer so he/she can give you a sound legal advice.

  9. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Hi. I was absent for a day but told our HR that I won't report to work because I was sick (the usual flu). Since I was just absent for a day I didn't secure a medical certificate. But when I got my salary my immediate supervisor deducted 1K from my wages. Is it lawful? He considered it as an AWOL.

  10. hi, i got hired in a company and signed the contraccts, then i heard some bad feedbacks about the company so i started looking for another job and i got hired, what will happen to me if i will choose the second company but i already signed a contract in the first company.

  11. Hi i've been working for 1month and had signed a 2 years contract. But im not really happy in that company. Whatvare the consequences if i will do AWOL?

  12. Anonymous4:02 AM

    Hi I am not a regular employee and the thing is my team leader clearly has issues she refuses to reply whenever im asking her to be absent because im sick thats why i decided to just cut my loses and quit training. I have been with the company for 2 months and i texted her that im quitting she said that i should submit a resignation letter or else she will tag me Awol. I really dont want to face her anymore so can i just hand it to an hr person? My team is practically bullying me, its a nightmare. Im throwing up while taking calls because she refuse to grant me a personal time while she addresses my other co workers because they have "menstrual cramps" please help me

  13. Anonymous4:16 PM

    Hi sir, I got hired in a company and signed the contracts, then i heard on the first day of training there will be no allowance and you're the one whose going to pay your expenses like training module etc. There would also no benefits like sss, i't up to me if I would like to apply, I would only receive my commission based salary. And I don't want to continue it anymore. And one of the company where I applied before contacted me. What will happen to me if i will go to that company but I have signed the contract on the first one?

    1. Anonymous4:29 PM

      Also sir. There is a training bond written in the contract worth P50000. What will happen if I didn't pay it and can't afford to pay it?


If you have an opinion about this topic or a related experience you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment but please be respectful. No bad words please or I will be constrained to delete it.