As others have said, you need to do what's best for you and your group.
The Long Answer:
I tend to be the Forever GM, so I run into stuff like this a lot. I've seen it from start to finish, and it's always something different. I tend to handle it as follows:
1) Is it a legitimate reason?
I know this is a bit nitpicky, but it's true. Being told an hour before game that a family member is in the hospital is one thing; getting a call because the one player doesn't want to put on pants walk down the hill to get to the game is another.
If it's a legitimate thing that has major real-world implications, I still award some XP so the player isn't far behind. Crap stuff gets a goose egg.
2) Were instructions left regarding what the character is doing?
This was a favorite of mine in a FATE game I was running. One guy was getting called in for OT for a month (he knew a few weeks in advance) and would miss the games we had scheduled. I already had events planned, so we sat down over lunch one day and mapped out what his character was going to do behind the scenes. He wrote a note for the party, told me where he was going, who he was talking to, what information he wanted, and who he'd be threatening if it really got down to it (he was the second son of a noble house living in Victorian London with a military background).
When someone puts enough awesome thought into the game to RP when they are away and even designs props to leave behind (like finding a "proper" font for the note they left), I'm fine with giving full XP.
3) Was the character trailing along and offering assistance in some way?
If you've seen The Gamers, then you know about Mark, the Berserker. The player here was late because of being with his girlfriend, then bailed after the first major combat. The players kept him around following them, and they eventually got into a major fight that the players controlled him for.
In situations where the character could face major harm (possibly death!) and played a part in some way (even if they are just offering moral support and giving boosts that way), I award XP based on how dangerous the situation was.
4) How important is it in the game to gain XP?
This is one I've always had to balance. In some games, being off by session is HUGE and can slow you down for a good long while. I'm looking at AD&D, where if you were a wizard, you were looking at twice the number of XP needed to level up.
EotE isn't that bad, but if the party completes the story arc and does major things, that could be 20-40 XP they missed due to sitting in the hospital or having a family emergency. It could take multiple sessions to get caught up, and if they miss more games, they may feel they are being ostracized or even useless when the dice start rolling.
So if it's important for your scaling purposes and for party cohesion to be in the same XP range, then offer some if not all of the XP.
5) What is best for group cohesion, both in and out of character?
I've been on both sides of this one in college, and it's never fun. I would miss a game due to being called in at work (I was the only one with a job) and I'd get an XP hit. Next thing I knew, I was levels behind, couldn't keep up, and eventually dropped the game.
I later learned the GM was trying to ostracize me since I was one of the other major GMs on campus. Some of the players, when they realized that, left. The game collapsed shortly afterward.
Another GM always negated XP if you were absent, and would sometimes even dock XP if you were late. He did this to force players to be so far behind they would quit, which really caused some lines to be drawn and friendships to be tested (and broken).
Sometimes, you just have to be careful what someone will think if they get docked, how they will react, and how the rest of the table will act. It might not mean much to a group of close friends, but if you get that one anti-social guy who is nervous in groups larger than 3, it might mean a whole lot more.
Just putting my two credits out there for you. I hope it helps in some way!