Addressing Persistent Lateness


Addressing Persistent Lateness

 There will sometimes be genuine reasons for employees being late for work; this could be due to poor weather conditions, traffic problems and other circumstances beyond their control.  Employers do have the right to ask for lost working time to be made up even when the lateness is genuinely due to unforeseen circumstances.

Persistent lateness is another matter, in my view it is rude, unacceptable and can be damaging to productivity and the business.  Not managing this effectively is likely to breed further problems particularly if it is perceived that people are ‘getting away with it'.

Ideally, the importance in being punctual should be set out in your handbook, this should also set out what an employee should do when they anticipate being late for work, i.e. calling their Manager to let them know, give the reason for the lateness and advise what time they expect to arrive at work.  It should also be made clear that an employee will be expected to make the lost working time up at a time suitable to the Company. The handbook should also confirm that persistent lateness will be addressed through the disciplinary procedure.

The most important thing is that you have robust policies and procedures in place and that the Company demonstrates fair and consistent application of the policy.

If you would like further advice or information about a similar matter (or anything else), please give me a call.

Angie.  You can contact Angie Dansey at

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