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Entrepreneurs Panel

David Pollock
Brian Hay
Julie Meyer
Michael Oliver
Tony Caldeira
Steve Purdham
Jeremy Roberts
Debbie Pierce
Jennie Johnson
Richard O'Sullivan
Charlie Mullins
Laura Tenison

Late arrival

Debbie Pierce

The former market stall worker founded the Bury Black Pudding Company on the web in May 2002 on a budget of £1,000. The firm completed its move to a major production facility in 2005 and now churns out more than 20 tonnes of black pudding a week to cater for demand over the internet, at its longstanding stall in Bury Market and from its distributors including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Iceland and Londis.

Question: 

One of my employees has started to arrive late for work almost every day. It started off being the odd day here and there, but now the individual strolls in at least ten minutes after everyone else and other team members have complained, although the time is always made up at the end of the day. I have asked the worker to manage their time more efficiently, but it has not made a difference. Should I give the worker a formal warning?

Answer: 

Good timekeeping is to be expected of an employee, therefore if they fail to uphold their duty then warnings should be issued and eventually a disciplinary held if required.

You letting the employee constantly get away with it will have a very negative effect on the rest of the staff, who will be expecting you to deal with it as quickly as possible.

However, firstly I would ask why they are constantly late. If there are genuine reasons, like dropping a child off at school, then you may choose to make reasonable adjustments by setting their hours of work to accommodate this, as long as it is not detrimental to their role in the business. You would then need to clearly communicate this arrangement to the rest of the staff.

If there are no genuine reasons then you need to go down the warnings and disciplinary route.

If you have no timekeeping policy in your contract of employment you need to create one.

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