I work for an organisation that has a lot of hourly paid employees and a lot of sickness.
We also employ a lot of parents (mums) who take a lot of time off with sick children.
They are paid for their own sickness, but for other absences (waiting in for a plumber, dentist, child's illness etc) they are given the choice of either taking the time unpaid or making the hours up.
I work in finance and am responsible for making the adjustments. I am not their line manager and have no HR responsibilities.
The vast majority of the staff opt to make their hours up, but I know most of the line managers find it too much hassle to monitor this or to find additional tasks for their staff to do, so the reality is that they never do make the time up.
A very reliable member of staff who has never had a day sick or any other absence had to take a day last month after her child was injured at school. She has been given the same choice and opted to take it unpaid. I know that if she'd opted to make up the time, she would never have been asked to actually do so. It seems unfair that she should be penalised for being honest when there are so many who have been getting away with it for years.
There are obviously HR issues that should be dealt with but that's not within my power.
No you absolutely can't. Part of working in finance is having access to a lot of confidential information, which may include aspects of remuneration which you may consider unfair/excessive/wrong for whatever reason.
But you know you can't disregard an instruction to adjust someone's pay.
No - she's almost certainly aware herself that she could have taken the option to 'make the time up' and would rather not do something she knows to be dishonest. However unfair it may seem, deducting her pay is the right thing to do.