Employee Attendance Policy

This Employee Attendance Policy template sets the foundation for your company’s policy on work attendance and absenteeism. It should be adapted to suit your company’s unique needs and circumstances.

The policy may also be referred to as an Attendance Management Policy, Absenteeism Policy, and Tardiness Policy.

The Principle and Definition


“Absenteeism” is defined as habitual absence from work by an employee. This includes cases of an employee’s frequent failure to report to work without legal cause. This may include taking excessive sick leave that is not supported by medical reports.

“Presenteeism” is defined as excessive presence; where an employee works beyond the nominal schedule even without rational or convincing cause.

“Tardiness” refers to reporting late for work, taking longer breaks than prescribed, and persistently leaving from work earlier than scheduled without valid cause.

Reporting to work on time is crucial as it cements a collective culture of responsibility and efficiency. Reporting late sets a bad example that can negatively affect collective morale and productivity.

Our employee attendance policy outlines the company’s expectations on attendance and consequences for persistent defiance.

The policy applies to all non-exempt employees irrespective of position or type of employment.

Policy Highlights

Most of the company’s work or business depends on collaboration amongst employees. Their punctuality makes this collaboration easy by ensuring different departments are available to support each other during office hours.

Consistent tardiness and absenteeism can result in confusion when other employees are forced to shoulder another employee’s work or when excessive absence creates a workflow bottleneck. Such behavior can bring about a “bad attendance” record for which an employee may have to undergo progressive discipline.

Employees are responsible for monitoring their work hours through [timekeeping system/ software]. It is important to accurately record these hours so that payments can be processed.

In the Case of Unplanned Absence

In case it is not possible to report to work for one day, the employee should inform their manager immediately or HR if they are easier to reach.

For absences beyond one day, the absence should be covered by paid time off or sick leave and this should be recorded in the company’s [HR software] as soon as possible.

Unexplained or unreported absences for more than three days are considered as abandonment which is a basis for summary dismissal. The manager should be informed in the event an employee needs to leave work early for a day.

There are valid reasons for being absent which the company would bear with even in the absence of a report. Such reasons include serious accidents, important family matters, or acute emergencies. Such cases may necessitate documentary support and the company will then record the absence as “excused.”

Reasons that may not count as excused absence include but are not limited to the following:

  • Oversleeping.
  • Stopping on the way to work to attend to personal business.
  • Traffic or transportation delays.
  • Weather conditions, except reasonable extremes like floods and hurricanes.
  • Holidays that are not recognized by the company.
  • Unreported family ceremonies.

Rewarding Good Attendance

Employees who post less than [three incidents] of absenteeism or tardiness per year will receive an additional paid day off for the next year.

A good attendance record is the result of:

  • Consistent work attendance.
  • Always prompt in reporting to work for their shift.
  • Leaving work at the scheduled shift end time.
  • Always at work during work hours (excluding beaks).
  • Taking reasonable breaks.
  • Informing the manager every time he or she needs to be absent or late.
  • Not being absent without good reason.

Manager’s Brief

A manager is responsible for monitoring the attendance of their employees and is briefed to be on the lookout for the following:

  • If an employee is consistently late or absent, arrange a private meeting to discuss the issue. Ask the employee if they are experiencing challenges with their schedules and whether they need assistance.
  • If a possible mental health issue is detected as the cause of absenteeism or tardiness, ask the team member to contact [mental health professional] and discuss what you can do to help.
  • If you suspect an employee is abusing their sick leave or being willfully tardy, HR should be informed so they can start progressive discipline.

Prospects of Disciplinary Action

Suspicion of abusing sick leave will require that employees submit medical reports to avoid facing progressive discipline. For deliberate tardiness, corrective counseling will be attempted first and disciplinary action may follow which may include termination if:

  • Corrective counseling fails.
  • The company establishes that the employee is willfully tardy.
  • The tardiness and absenteeism impacts on performance quality and output.

It is important to note that unexcused and unreported absences are not hours worked and are not due for compensation.

Download this policy sample:

Google Doc – Letter
PDF Document – Letter (.pdf)
Microsoft Word – Letter (.docx)
OpenDocument Format – Letter (.odt)
Rich Text Format – Letter (.rtf)
Plain Text – Letter (.txt)
Google Doc – A4
PDF Document – A4 (.pdf)
Microsoft Word – A4 (.docx)
OpenDocument Format – A4 (.odt)
Rich Text Format – A4 (.rtf)
Plain Text – A4 (.txt)

Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

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