time and attendance coverage – the algorithm on your staff on when to
present up for work and in what circumstances they are often excused – is important
for working your online business efficiently.


  • It helps a
    skilled work surroundings.
  • It encourages
  • It helps to set
    expectations for workers and promotes an understanding of what they’ll be
    held accountable for.
  • It ranges the
    taking part in discipline for all staff. Everybody has assurance that their colleagues
    are held to the identical requirements and are at work the identical period of time,
    carrying their very own weight.

occurs to your organization with no time and attendance coverage – or a coverage
that’s administered haphazardly?

  • Incapability of your
    enterprise to function with out interruption and ship constant service
  • Poor buyer
  • Unfavourable
    office tradition rife with resentment and paranoia (staff are satisfied
    others are receiving preferential remedy and never held to the identical requirements)
  • Difficulties
    terminating staff for causes associated to tardiness or absenteeism
  • Vulnerability to
    authorized motion on behalf of staff

of what kind of enterprise you have got, the trade wherein you use or the place
your workplace is situated, you want a time and attendance coverage on your

What about versatile workplaces?

you could ask: However what about versatile workplaces? It’s possible you’ll really feel that your organization
isn’t formal and inflexible sufficient to warrant having a time and attendance coverage.

you’d be improper. This dialog positively applies to your organization as nicely.

More and more,
workplaces are changing into extra versatile
and fewer formal. Higher numbers of staff work remotely and are distributed
throughout a number of areas and even totally different time zones.

– now the most important group out within the workforce – and Technology Z are the long run
of the office. Workers of those generations are likely to anticipate flexibility.


  • They’ve extra of
    a 24/7 mindset in that work doesn’t essentially should happen inside the
    conventional 8-to-5 schedule so long as it will get performed on time. They’re obtainable
    past typical enterprise hours, ceaselessly checking and responding to emails or
  • They have an inclination to
    favor open-ended paid day off (PTO) to permit extra time to take care of household
    obligations, take pleasure in extra journey alternatives and even interact in volunteer
    actions – with the caveat that so long as work will get performed, it’s OK.

is completely acceptable. In case your kind of enterprise aligns with a versatile
strategy, this may make you a particularly enticing firm to work for and provides
you an edge in retaining staff for the long run.

you continue to want a time and attendance coverage for the needs of:

  • Establishing
    primary floor guidelines
  • Setting expectations
    for workers
  • Treating all
    staff pretty
  • Defending your organization
    from authorized motion on behalf of staff

as workplaces evolve to develop into extra versatile, distant and distributed, you want
to have some parameters in place. It is because the potential for abuse of your
firm is larger. You want to have the ability to self-discipline or terminate staff when
referred to as for. It’s tough to do that when your coverage is ambiguous and never
said in writing.

time and attendance coverage may be as detailed and strict, or as excessive degree and
relaxed, as you want – however

  • it must be clear.
  • It should be printed to staff (in an
    worker handbook or posted in a conspicuous place so staff realize it
  • everybody wants to stick to it.
  • efficiency requirements should to be met.

how do you go about creating such a coverage? What ought to it deal with?

Workplace hours

Your official hours are the times of the week and the size of time every
day while you anticipate staff to be within the workplace or obtainable for work in the event that they
work remotely.

This considerations you if:

  • Your
    enterprise is open to the general public at sure occasions.
  • Workers
    work together instantly with prospects.
  • Your
    enterprise has some other necessities or work processes that decision for workers
    to be working collectively at particular occasions.

In any other case, if you happen to’re versatile, say so. For instance, be clear about if
staff are allowed to:

  • Depart
    the workplace once they’re performed with specified assignments
  • Set
    their very own schedule
  • Work
    from anyplace

In case you anticipate staff to be obtainable by telephone, e mail or textual content outdoors
work hours, that must be communicated as nicely. That is notably
necessary for all hours staff.


This considerations staff who arrive to work late when set workplace hours exist – with none compelling motive for his or her conduct.

In your coverage, make clear these factors:

  • By
    when you think about staff to be late, and whether or not there’s any grace interval
  • Name-in
    procedures (i.e. search approval for being late in an emergency scenario
    or pre-planned occasions like a physician go to).
  • The
    disciplinary course of


This considerations staff who’re always out of the workplace, taking
overly lengthy breaks, leaving work early with out permission or failing to clock
out and in – once more, with none compelling motive why – in a piece surroundings
with set workplace hours.

don’t know the place these individuals are or what they’re engaged on a lot of the

absenteeism from any worker is an enormous drawback, as a result of it may well kill morale
and foster resentment amongst different staff who really feel like they’re choosing up
the slack.

In your coverage, make clear these factors:

  • How
    you outline absenteeism
  • The
    acceptable frequency and period of breaks
  • The
    process for clocking out and in, or filling out time sheets
  • The
    disciplinary course of

Day off (paid and unpaid)

Clarify to staff all of the paid day off (PTO) they get, which can

Some corporations lump trip and sick time in collectively to create extra
flexibility for workers.

Additionally make sure you clarify:

  • The
    accrual charge for PTO
  • Whether or not
    unused PTO carries over into the next calendar 12 months; test state
  • The
    course of for requesting day off, together with any deadlines or restrictions (for
    instance, making trip requests round
  • Any
    different permitted depart
  • Any
    depart that’s unpaid
  • Any
    required documentation for leaves or day out of the workplace

Understand that time beyond regulation labored
can enhance the common or anticipated annual accrual.

Additionally, test all state legal guidelines to
guarantee compliance. As an example, some states don’t permit a use-it-or-lose-it
PTO coverage.

Most well-liked communication strategies

Let your staff know notify you in the event that they’ll be late or absent.
Do you like an e mail, telephone name or textual content?

As talked about within the previous part, you additionally want to elucidate the method for requesting PTO or any kind of depart. Is there an HR portal or firm intranet the place staff can do that electronically and independently? Or do you like that staff ask you by way of e mail, textual content or an in-person assembly?

Moreover, many corporations use on-line, interactive calendars to assist
staff simply share with their colleagues when they are going to be out of the
workplace to higher coordinate work schedules.

Disciplinary course of

Clearly spell out what occurs when an worker violates your time and
attendance coverage. Your purpose is to by no means have an worker be shocked by any
punitive motion you’re taking towards them.

The everyday progressive disciplinary course of is as follows:

  • Verbal
  • Written
  • Ultimate
  • Termination

Keep away from itemizing a concrete variety of occurrences that have to occur earlier than
progressing to the following stage. Workers may be savvy at studying to sport your system.

For instance, in the event that they know they are often late precisely thrice – with out
incurring destructive penalties – earlier than getting a warning, what’s stopping
them from coming in late these two preliminary occasions? As an alternative, handle this on a
case-by-case foundation, factoring within the worker’s function and influence in your

You also needs to keep a dialogue together with your staff about their
causes for tardiness or absenteeism. If their causes are legitimate, be honest. You
wish to make sure you’re accommodating a private, household or medical concern,
presumably within the type of a schedule change.

Every time you ship a warning to an worker, this needs to be documented
of their personnel file. That is essential for defending your self within the occasion of
accusations of unfair remedy.

Coverage documentation

Your time and attendance coverage is among the many many kinds of HR
insurance policies you should correctly doc.

Your coverage needs to be offered to every worker in writing – both in
print or electronically. It also needs to be included in your worker handbook,
if your organization has one.

When your staff are given a duplicate of the coverage, you need to ask them to
signal and date an acknowledgement that they’ve learn and understood the coverage. The
new-hire onboarding course of is a handy time to do that.

Your capability to exhibit staff’ consciousness and acceptance of your
time and attendance coverage can defend you throughout authorized proceedings.

Coverage enforcement

From the start, set the expectation that the coverage applies to all
staff, together with management.

It’s essential that managers lead by instance and implement the coverage
from the highest down. In any case, any conduct from management that violates the
coverage grants unstated permission for workers to behave equally. It tells them
that the corporate doesn’t actually take the coverage critically.

Reviewing knowledge from digital key playing cards and time sheets are straightforward methods
that you would be able to monitor staff’ conduct – in addition to the shared workplace
calendars talked about earlier. All these choices present arduous proof that may
help your case for disciplining or terminating an worker on the grounds of
extreme tardiness or absenteeism.

Encourage managers to stroll across the workplace periodically and casually test
in together with your crew – and see who’s there.

Watch out about micromanaging, although. Don’t make staff really feel like
you’re all the time lurking over their shoulder, watching their each transfer. As a
firm chief, you do have higher issues to do. And it’ll undermine morale and
make folks wish to give up.

That is additionally true for distant staff. For instance, if you happen to inform them
that they should be logged into firm methods for a minimum of X hours per day,
that may really feel arbitrary and foster resentment. Simply because they’re not
formally logged in doesn’t imply they’re not working.

Imposing a time and attendance coverage actually comes
right down to belief and respect. Assume your staff will act just like the
professionals they’re.

Save your main surveillance efforts for when work efficiency declines,
different staff share considerations, otherwise you witness a conduct in violation of the
coverage that places you on alert.

Legal guidelines to be careful for

It’s important to assessment your time and attendance coverage a minimum of
yearly to make sure that it’s in compliance with nationwide, state and native
employment legal guidelines and rules.

Particularly you probably have a number of workplace areas, ignoring the truth that
legal guidelines can fluctuate by state and municipality can expose you to legal responsibility.

The next legal guidelines present alternatives so that you can encounter authorized
points when creating, implementing and implementing your time and attendance

Paid sick depart

A number of states have obligatory paid-sick-leave legal guidelines obligating employers to offer a sure variety of devoted sick days for workers.

Honest Labor Requirements Act (FLSA)

In case you’re decreasing
wages for an
exempt worker as a punishment for extreme absences or tardiness, you
might be susceptible to a wage declare.

Because the employer, it’s your obligation to keep up correct timekeeping information for all non-exempt staff.

Household and Medical Depart Act (FMLA)

FMLA obligates
employers with a minimum of 50 staff inside a 75-mile radius to present staff
12 weeks off to take care of a private well being concern or care for one more household
member, with none type of self-discipline.

You should maintain their
job during the depart. Smaller employers are normally suggested to
approve such a depart of absence, however they aren’t required by legislation to carry the
worker’s job.

Individuals with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Employers are
obligated to make
a good-faith effort to accommodate the disabilities or ongoing well being
problems with staff that might in any other case influence their capability to carry out the first
capabilities of their jobs.

If one in every of your staff
cites a incapacity or well being concern as a motive or tardiness or absences, you should
interact in an interactive dialogue to find out any lodging that could be
vital to help the worker.

Uniformed Companies Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and Veterans’ Choice

Workers’ navy obligations – together with abroad deployments – are lined by legislation. You’re obligated to grant these absences in accordance with the legislation.


This legislation covers accidents
sustained by staff at work.

If the medical
suggestion is for an worker to take a depart of absence due to their
harm, you might be obligated to grant the depart.

You also needs to bear in mind that some states require employers to grant particular
kinds of depart, together with:

  • Voting
  • Faculty
  • Jury
  • Bereavement

Summing all of it up

A time and attendance coverage is important, however to make it efficient and
enforceable it should be:

  • Written
    down and acknowledged by staff
  • Complete
  • As
    clear and particular as attainable
  • In
    alignment together with your office tradition, kind of enterprise, work processes and
  • In
    compliance with all related legal guidelines on the nationwide, state and native degree
  • Encouraging
    mutual belief and respect

extra info on HR insurance policies that may defend your organization, obtain our free
e-book: 7 most
frequent HR errors and keep away from them.