What Is an Attendance Policy?

An attendance policy is a document explaining what is expected from employees on issues such as tardiness, no-shows, early outs, and no-call-no-shows.

What Should Be Included in an Attendance Policy?

Typically, the following information should be included in an attendance policy:

  • What is considered being late
  • How the employees are expected to notify their absence
  • What are the valid reasons for absence
  • When do they need to provide an official document for their absence or lateness
  • How to request days off
  • What are the consequences of being late or absent from work

An attendance policy should always be written in a clear and simple way.

How to Write an Attendance Policy?

An attendance policy prevents absenteeism in the workplace, sets standards for time management, and improves employee productivity.

An attendance policy should include:

  • Clear expectations about attendance: definition of tardiness, no-shows, sick days, etc.;
  • A reliable time tracking method;
  • Disciplinary procedures.

The attendance policy should be read and understood by every member of an organization.

What Is the Purpose of an Attendance Policy?

An attendance policy is a documented set of rules regarding issues such as absenteeism, early outs, and no-call-no-shows.

Benefits of adopting an attendance policy include:

  • Setting clear expectations;
  • Maintaining fairness in the workplace;
  • Defining realistic disciplinary actions.

What Is an Example of an Attendance Policy?

Here is an example of an attendance policy:

Employees are expected to arrive at work on time and be ready to start their duties at the designated start time. An employee is considered late if they arrive more than 5 minutes past their scheduled start time.

If an employee is unable to attend work due to illness, a family emergency, or any other unforeseen circumstance, they must notify their immediate supervisor or manager in a timely manner. Employees should notify their absence by phone or by leaving a voice message if they are unable to talk to management.

Valid reasons for absences include but are not limited to:

  • Personal illness or injury
  • Family emergencies
  • Bereavement
  • Jury duty
  • Doctor’s appointments (with prior notice)
  • Approved time off (vacation, personal days, or other leave types)

In cases of extended absence (more than two consecutive workdays) or repeated lateness, employees may be required to provide official documentation, such as a medical certificate, jury duty summons, or other relevant documents.

Employees must submit requests for time off in advance through the employee scheduling software. Requests should be submitted as early as possible and no later than 2 weeks before the desired time off.

Time-off requests will be evaluated based on operational needs and seniority. Approval is subject to the discretion of the supervisor or manager. The company will make every effort to accommodate reasonable time-off requests, but approval is not guaranteed.

Employees who are repeatedly late or absent may face the following consequences:

  • Verbal warnings
  • Written warnings
  • Performance improvement plans
  • Further disciplinary action, up to and including termination, if the issue persists

The company uses an employee scheduling software to record employee attendance and work hours. Employees are responsible for recording their work hours, including arrival and departure times and breaks.

Falsification of time records or dishonesty regarding attendance and work hours is a serious violation of company policy and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

This attendance policy is subject to change. Employees are encouraged to review and familiarize themselves with the policy regularly and seek clarification from their supervisor or HR department if they have any questions or concerns.

Why Is It Important to Have an Attendance Policy?

Implementing an attendance policy is important in order to set clear expectations for the employees and ensure their presence at work. It can also prevent employees from taking advantage of the company’s policy on time off.

It helps create a clear set of disciplinary actions in case of repetitive lateness or absence.

How to Solve Attendance Issues?

To solve attendance issues, managers can:

  • Set clear expectations from the beginning;
  • Track and analyze attendance records;
  • Establish an effective attendance policy;
  • Make consequences clear and consistent;
  • Follow up with employees.

How to Monitor Employee Attendance?

Time tracking apps are often used to monitor employee attendance. Such software can track employee work hours (arrival, departures, and breaks) among other relevant attendance information.

What Is Considered an Acceptable Absenteeism Rate?

Acceptable absenteeism rate can vary depending on the industry. For example, industries with more stressful environments such as health care or security can have higher absenteeism rates.

Typically, a 1.5% absence rate is acceptable considering that all absences can’t be avoided.

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