You probably don’t mind the odd excuse for an employee being late but persistent staff lateness can seriously affect your productivity and profits, especially in small businesses. Here are some of Wurkplace’s tips and advice on how to handle employee timekeeping.
Set some rules
Unless you have a policy in place, your staff may not be very clear on what you expect from them. Introduce a clear lateness policy and include the following sections:
- The required standards of timekeeping (e.g. working hours, shift patterns, any flexi-time or flexible working arrangements)
- The consequences of persistent lateness
- What disciplinary action will be taken under the disciplinary procedure
- How you plan to monitor timekeeping, (e.g. signing in sheet or clocking machine)
- If and how the time should be made up
- Who to report to and the deadline to call
- The policy should be communicated properly to all employees and should be enforced fairly and consequently
Create a formal lateness procedure
Quite often, persistent lateness can be resolved informally where the employee has been given an opportunity to improve. This response can also be effective in highlighting any problems that could be resolved and possibly negate the need for an investigation and disciplinary meeting.
If after the informal action, lateness persists then it may become a disciplinary matter and a formal disciplinary procedure will be necessary.
Even where there has been a full disciplinary process and the employee’s timekeeping has not improved, you will usually have to give the employee notice or pay in lieu if you wish to dismiss. You can only dismiss employees without notice in cases of gross misconduct. Lateness itself is almost certainly not serious enough to be gross misconduct, although lying about the reasons could be.
When dealing with employee timekeeping, don’t act hastily in cases of discipline and dismissal, you must follow a full and fair procedure. For advice on this, call one of our Consultants on 0330 400 5490 or submit a quick quote here.
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