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What to do when an employee is always late for work

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Employee timekeeping can be a major concern to employers. Particularly in businesses which require staff to clock-in. Lateness, absenteeism, even keeping track of sick leave can all act as a distraction to the time-pressed manager.

There can be occasions when an employee’s time keeping goes awry and your attention is taken away from other important tasks to manage their lateness. Didn’t you have enough to do already?

Whilst it might seem like a waste of your time to address it, an employee’s persistent lateness can lead to even bigger problems within your business.

The importance of addressing poor timekeeping

When an employee is late for work it is frustrating and can upset the order of events for that day.

Co-workers who can make it to work on time may start to feel put out if they see a colleague constantly turn up late without reprimand. Not only can it affect morale but can disrupt their own work if they have to delay meetings, postpone projects or keep clients waiting.

You’ll want to nip it in the bud. But what do you do? Jumping from your seat having had enough of it and demanding an explanation in front of everyone could become a very awkward situation. Most importantly, there could be a very good reason for the lateness that the employee does not wish to be made public.

How to address poor timekeeping

There are a few simple steps that you can take to effectively manage employee lateness in your business. Following a fair procedure and having a company policy in place will help.

  1. Let the employee know that you are paying attention. If it is a one off and they have provided a valid reason, such as a bad commute, you may not feel the need to take any further action. However, if it was poor judgement that made them late, you could ask that they make the time back.
  2. If the lateness continues, book in an immediate 121 with them to ask why it is happening and point out how it might be affecting their work or colleagues. If their excuses seem just that, excuses, and they don’t have a valid reason, you should issue a warning and initiate disciplinary procedures. Refer to your company policy on lateness.
  3. When an employee reveals to you that there is a reason behind their lateness, such as family problems or health concerns, we’d advise that you discuss this with them to see if and how you might be able to support them. Flexible working could be helpful here.
  4. Have a process in place to record lateness. If employees are working at multiple sites or locations, it can be difficult to manage timekeeping and attendance. You can’t be everywhere at once after all. Consider a cloud-based clocking-in system for accuracy and peace of mind.


Need further support?

If you’re too time pressed to address an employee’s persistent lateness or want to implement a timekeeping policy, we can help. Contact your local HR Dept today.

It’s the new year – Are your employees already thinking of their next break?

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As the new year is now upon us and the shiny new 2019 diaries make an appearance, it’s likely that your team-members are already planning their next breaks.

January is the busiest time of year for booking holidays, as we long for a winter escape or a summer holiday for later in the year. As an employer, it is therefore good to get yourself prepared for the potential surge of annual leave requests over the coming weeks.

Prepare for a rare calendar quirk

If your staff can’t wait until summer to get away, there is also a rare opportunity to have 17 consecutive days off work whilst only using nine days of holiday! This is due to two bank holidays falling close together this year over the Easter break and first May bank holiday (22nd April and 6th May).

It is likely that some will look to take advantage of maximising their precious holiday entitlement. This will be applicable for all industries where bank holidays are not counted as a normal working day.

Managing the ‘Holiday Hack’ as an employer

It is worth being aware of this as an employer. Make sure that your acceptance of holiday requests is done fairly. Some staff-members may look to jump on the band wagon and bag themselves this extended period of time off work before their colleagues.

Before making the decision to sign off on this, think about the impact that this extended period of time off may have. How will the rest of your team left in the office feel? Is there a potential dip in service delivery to your customers?

One way to assist with this is to use an HR management system tool like HR Toolkit. The holiday management element of the system will enable you to clearly see who else has requested time off over the same period before you approve any requests. It can also avoid the confusion of the growing pile of paper requests.

If the Easter break is a busy time of year for your business, perhaps think about communicating this to your teams beforehand. This will help to avoid any last-minute disappointment if plans have been made without your approval.

If you need help with workforce planning or are interested in implementing a holiday management tool contact The HR Dept today.