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Advice needed on a work related issue

The_Special_OneThe_Special_One Posts: 108
edited September 2012 in The cake stop
So I'm currently down in London and met up with a friend and we started talking about all sorts of things, anyway work came up in the conversation and wondering if anyone can give me their opinion on the following.

My friend tells me that a few days ago there was a big meeting for his department with their line manager and one of the issues on the agenda was a policy regarding any staff that arrive late into work.

He tells me that now any staff that arrive late into work will have a full days pay deducted but will still be required to work the rest of their shift. And any staff that decide to go home after been told that a days pay been deducted will be subjected to disciplinary procedures for breaking their contact. According to my friend that policy has been given the green light by the HR department.

So points I'd like to know the answers too.

A - Can a company deduct an employees full days pay for arriving late into work. Of course if an employee is arriving into work late on a regular basis that's a issue that can be addressed, but to deducted a full days pay of someone for whatever reason might arrive 5 or 10 minutes late one morning.

B - Upon been told you're having your days pay deducted, can the company then force you to work the rest of your shift for no pay and any staff that refuse to work for free will be subjected to disciplinary procedures. So someone could arrive at 6.10am be told a days pay is been deducted but is then told they still have to work while 6pm.

He asked me for my advice, I mean I'm no expert but I told him I call total BS. My friend works for a large organization but his position is quite low down, he's works in the postroom and as an internal delivery person. I've told him to contact HR as I can't see any HR department of a large organization giving the green light to such a policy, but he's quite a nervous guy and is easily taken advantage of and not the type to challenge his boss on issues.


  • R+P+KR+P+K Posts: 49
    My gut feeling is it sounds unlikely, but your friend needs to find an employment lawyer (either on here or real world) and ask them.
  • getprggetprg Posts: 245
    Seems like an ill thought out policy to me - I run my own businesses with about 40 staff and would regard this policy as unworkable because lateness is one of those areas where, despite staff best efforts, there will be exceptions and losing a day's pay sounds unreasonable. I suspect an employment tribunal would agree.

    Practically speaking what any self respecting organisation will want to manage (and eliminate) is habitual lateness. If ignored it saps morale and renders a team unprofessional. Those who make the effort resent those who don't. Policies are needed that involve a disciplinary process. Ultimately this might lead to dismissal. This depends on the line of command not ignoring the problem - at what ever level - senior executive to junior staff.

    Deducting a whole day's salary is so draconian that some line managers might almost be inclined to ignore the problem more or cover it up - if they think the policy unfair.

    As to the legality - practically speaking employers can introduce (provided they give reasonable notice) pretty much any policy which isn't illegal (eg illegal = contravening a statutory obligation such as the working time directive or minimum wage rules - and working a day without pay might contravene this!). If an employee regards a change as a material breach of contract they can tender their resignation and take their chances with an employment tribunal.
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,790
    I am far from an expert on this but as far as I can see it, there is no way on earth that this policy can be enforced.

    The "crime" and "punishment" need to be separated.

    Employee comes in late and may face disciplinary action of some kind. The disciplinary action taken or available will vary depending on contract.

    Employee forced to work for nothing. This will not vary on any working contract. If working they get paid, if not, they don't. They may face losing an attendance bonus or part of their pay, if that is related to turning up on time, but they cannot work for nothing.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Deductions for lateness are legal if agreed in the employment contract and the employee is appropriately informed AIUI, it would need to be in the contract, without it in the contract deductions cannot be made at all other than for the statutory reasons (PAYE, student loans overpayment etc.). They cannot of course make the wage below minimum wage, and a change to introduce the policy if it's not already in the employment contract cannot be introduced without agreement, although you'd be into unfair dismissal situations) Deductions totalling a full days pay for 5 minutes lateness may well be considered favourably by a tribunal though... you'd hope so.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff:
  • The issue that concerns me is his line manager stating that if a days pay is with held for been late that you will still be required to work your days shift, and anyone that refuses to work the shift for no pay risk disciplinary procedings and the threat of been sacked.

    Sounds like his manager is saying even though we are not paying you refusal to work is breach of contract.

    Think best advice i can give my friend is, A go speak with HR, find out if what his manager is saying is infact company policy and not just some random threat his manager has made up. B if it is company policy go speak with with either C.A.B or a employment lawyer for advice.
  • tim wandtim wand Posts: 2,945
    If this " condition" is not already in his contract of employment, then the employer has to give them a minimum of 28 days for advice and consultation before this condition can be imposed/agreed and therefore inforceable.

    If he recieves said notice and the condition passes into contract, then I strongly advice he takes advice from ACAS. As it seems unfair and contrary to reasonableness.

    Most standard contracts will involve removing 0.25 hours pay for any lateness which occours within the first hour of a shift. Repeated lateness should be noted in supervisions and development meetings.

    The employer should if necessary notify you of "poor performance" and give you notice to improve outlining what the consequences of repeated poor time keeping are, and inviting you to a meeting to discuss ways in which It could support you to achieve better time keeping (it cannot/ should not move straight to any punitive measure other than the agreed removal of 0.25 hours pay (seen as good time keeping incentive). without first notifying you of a requirement for improvement.
  • guineaguinea Posts: 1,177
    Please name and shame the company so I can be sure never to do business with them.

    This is in no way legal or enforceable.
  • guinea wrote:
    Please name and shame the company so I can be sure never to do business with them.

    This is in no way legal or enforceable.


    The line manager deserves a bloody good hiding for having the front to bullsh1t so much people who are merely trying to earn a living too. What an ar$ehole.
  • Surely one upshot of such stupidity would be if an employee was going to be late {held up in traffic for instance) would be to turn round go home and have a day off, riding their bike, decorating, doing anything other than working for nowt.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • Do you have Union representation ? If you have I cannot see this going through.
    I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast, but I'm intercontinental when I eat French toast...
  • getprggetprg Posts: 245
    +1 - this is an ill thought out policy - looks like it was made up on the hoof - no wonder management gets a bad press.
  • carrockcarrock Posts: 1,103
    this is called uni-lateral variation and is illegal

    basically, any material change to working conditions needs to be agreed with both employer and employee

    As no right minded employee would agree to this, it is unenforceable

    However, persistent lateness is a separate issue and may come under disciplinary procedures, but docking pay must be proportionate, ie turning up 10 minutes late may result in the loss of 10 mins pay pro rata, and a verbal, but nothing else
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    I'd rather assumed it was a vailed threat by the employer to try and curb a trend of tardiness.

    I doubt even the employer actually would do this (as they know it is not legally enforceable).

    Besides there are many other issues these days even when they do turn up on time. The last job I had people used to get in early to avoid traffic and have their breakfast - this soon descended into people arriving 'just in time' and then still having their breakfast - some people have no scruples :-)
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • Do you have Union representation ? If you have I cannot see this going through.

    Remember, unions only exist to upset DM readers and offend employers/politians that want to deregulate the workplace and do away with "red tape".

    As if standing up for a workers rights would ever come into it. :roll:
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
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