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Employee Attendance Policy

The Employee Attendance Policy outlines expectations regarding punctuality and attendance for employees. It emphasizes the importance of collaboration, defines absenteeism and tardiness, and provides guidelines for unforeseen absences. The policy also details disciplinary actions for non-compliance and rewards for good attendance.

This Employee Attendance Policy template can help you manage absenteeism and gives you an insight on how to set up or improve your company attendance policy for employees. May also be referred to as an Attendance Management Policy, Absenteeism Policy, Tardiness Policy.

This Employee Attendance policy should include:

  • Definitions of absenteeism, tardiness, and presenteeism.
  • Procedures for reporting unforeseen absences and the consequences of unreported absences.
  • Guidelines for managers to monitor attendance and address issues.


Employee Attendance Policy

Policy brief & purpose

Our employee attendance policy outlines our expectations about our employees’ coming to work. Being punctual when coming to work helps maintain efficiency in our workplace.


This company attendance policy applies to all nonexempt employees regardless of position or type of employment.

Policy elements

Most employees need to collaborate with their colleagues to do their job. To make this collaboration easier, we expect you to be punctual and follow the schedule you and your manager have agreed on. If you are absent or late on occasion, you should have a good reason.

Being consistently tardy or absent can cause problems to your colleagues who may have to shoulder your work. This behavior may bring about a “bad attendance” record and you may need to go through progressive discipline.

What is absenteeism and tardiness?

Absenteeism refers to frequent absence from an employee’s job responsibilities. This includes not coming to work frequently or taking excessive sick leave without being able to submit doctor’s notes. 

Presenteeism refers to being present at work beyond your schedule even when we don’t require overtime. This can cause you to overwork and have an impact on your productivity and job satisfaction. We want to ensure that you keep your schedule both when coming to work and leaving.

Tardiness refers to coming in late, taking longer breaks than you’re entitled to and constantly leaving earlier from work without reason. We probably won’t mind if you’re a bit late one morning or leave a little earlier on a Friday. But, we want to make sure you generally follow your schedule and you don’t cause disruption in our workplace.

You are responsible for monitoring your working hours through our [timekeeping system/ software.] Please be diligent in recording your hours, so you can receive your due payment.

Unforeseen absences

If you can’t come in to work one day, notify your manager as soon as possible. If your manager is in a different time zone, contact HR instead. Afterwards, you should draw from your remaining PTO or sick leave to cover this absence. Please record this in our [HR software] as quickly as possible. Unexcused or unreported absence for more than three days will be considered job abandonment. If you need to leave work early one day, inform your manager. 

We will understand if you have good reasons for being absent, even if you don’t report it. Those reasons usually involve serious accidents and family or acute medical emergencies. We may ask you to bring us doctor’s notes or other verification. In these cases, we will record your absence as “excused.”

The following list, although not exhaustive, includes reasons that we don’t consider excused absence:

  • Waking up late.
  • Stopping on the way to work for personal reasons.
  • Traffic or public transportation delays excluding situations that result in closing of roads.
  • Bad weather, excluding extreme weather conditions like blizzards, hurricanes and floods.
  • Holidays that haven’t been approved.

Good attendance

Employees who have less than [three incidents] of absenteeism or tardiness in a year will receive an additional paid day off for next year. You have a good attendance record when you:

  • Report consistently to work.
  • Come to work at the scheduled shift start time.
  • Leave work at the scheduled shift end time (except when paid overtime is required.)
  • Remaining at work during working hours (excluding breaks.)
  • Take breaks that don’t exceed an expected length.
  • Notify your manager when you need to be absent or late.
  • Be absent or late with good reasons only.

Manager’s responsibility

If you manage employees you are responsible to monitor their attendance. If you notice that a team member is consistently late or absent, arrange a private meeting to discuss. Ask your team member whether they experience issues with their schedule or whether they need help balancing their personal lives with work. Flexible hours, work from home or time management training options may provide a solution. If you perceive a possible mental health issue that results in absenteeism or tardiness, ask your team member to contact our [mental health professional] and discuss what you can do to help them.

If you suspect that your team member abuses their sick leave or is wilfully tardy, you should inform HR and start a progressive discipline process.

Disciplinary action

If your manager suspects you abuse your sick leave, you may need to submit doctor’s notes to avoid our progressive discipline process. If you’re being tardy unintentionally, corrective counseling will be our first attempt at a solution. We may take disciplinary action that goes up to and including termination if:

  • Corrective counseling doesn’t work.
  • We find that you are wilfully tardy.
  • Your tardiness or absenteeism impacts your work.

Unexcused and unreported absences don’t count as hours worked, so we won’t compensate them.


Disclaimer: This policy template 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 Workable will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy.
Further reading

Frequently asked questions

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