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The issue of apologies seem innocent  enough but there can be a sting in the tail.

Firstly, just what are apologies? They are NOT a list of people who have not shown up. They ARE  a list of people who have asked for their apologies to be submitted to the meeting.

So what’s the big deal? Well 99 times out of 100 it isn’t an issue but just occasionally there can be some legal ramifications.

A story I heard recently will certainly stop you recording apologies when people have not aked for them to be recorded. A man was driving to a meeting and had an accident. Since he did not turn up at the meeting, they recorded his absence as an apology. Sounds fine so far.

The problem came when he made his insurance claim for the accident and of course said he was on his way to a meeting. The insurance company checked and found his apologies had been given and they interpreted that as meaning that he had no intention of going to the meeting (since he had given an apology) and he had therefore lied in his claim about where he was going.

Moral of the story is if you receive an aplogy, record it, if you don’t – the person is listed as “not present” or “absent” or left off completely. Most organisations simply record those present and those who have tendered an apology.

Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement.

6 thoughts on “Apologies – a cautionary tale – they are NOT a list of non-attendees!

  1. Well, simple checking with the meeting organiser by the insurer would have verified what had occurred here.

  2. What is the source of this story ?
    Was it a legal case ? What is the legal
    reference to it ?

    (My club is in a big panic about how apologies are to be submitted if this csse is true.)

  3. I am curious to see what the answer is to johnno’s comment. It is all very well making a statement re the insurance because I have heard that folklore too but where is the actual data to back it up. If the insurance company can get off that lightly then the policy is flawed.

  4. What about people who ‘apologise’ for not attending a meeting because they don’t fancy going (maybe a contentious decision on the cards)? Do they dodge responsibility or because they are members they are bound corporately (which I would hope). What if they had gone, said their piece and asked that their dissent be recorded – does that get them off the hook?

  5. Is it right to include the reasons for abscence under apologies?

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