Attendance is and should be a major priority for every manager. A business which is routinely shorthanded due to attendance issues will inevitably suffer a loss of profits, not to mention prestige, cohesion and reputation. It is therefore critically important to develop a work attendance policy that is respected, enforced and followed.
The first step towards implementing an effective attendance policy is to accurately monitor the attendance of workers. Casual or manual timekeeping methods are unacceptable, and can even make a business liable to litigation. A company that uses attendance systems is in a much better position to handle compliance than companies that don’t use them. Studies have indicated that implementing these attendance systems have reduced litigation by more than 80 percent.
It is important for employers to familiarize themselves with the labor laws and regulations which are associated with attendance. There are a number of federal laws to consider, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Individual states may also have their own laws which govern employee attendance and absences which must also be considered. Both HR consultants and legal counselors can provide business owners with information which is relevant to their businesses.
Standard Things That Should Be Included In An Attendance Policy
An attendance policy should make it clear to workers that frequent tardiness and leaves of absence place a great burden on co-workers. Employees should be expected to arrive to work at the start of their schedule, but should they be unable to do so because of an emergency or sickness than their supervisors should be notified as soon as possible.
Employees who do not report to work, and choose not to notify their managers of this will be considered to have quit if the company doesn’t hear from them for longer than 48 hours. At this point the employee can be removed from the payroll. Employees who do arrive to work on time, but who become ill during the course of their workday and have to leave should notify their supervisors.
Companies should provide a handbook to workers which outline the absences which they will be compensated for. These authorized leaves of absence should only be allowed for a set period of time, and after that the compensation for the employee ceases. The attendance policy should be very clear about the working hours and the days of the week in which the employee is expected to work. It must also specify the times at which the employee can take breaks and eat lunch.
Enforcing Attendance Policies
No attendance policy is effective unless it can be enforced. The policy must be thoroughly communicated to all employees, and it should be enforced in equal measure. A good policy is not too broad nor is it too specific. Instead, it provides managers with sufficient discretion to make solid judgements regarding the employees and their compliance with the policy. Doing this is the key to making sure workers stick to their schedules and put in the time that is required.