Top Tips for Managing Lateness in the Workplace


One of the most common problems employers face with their staff is lateness. When not dealt with appropriately, lateness can not only impact effectiveness but can also cost businesses thousands over time. Although it is understood that employees may occasionally be late, action needs to be taken with repeat offenders.

Below are Croner’s ( the MIA’s Business Helpline partners) top tips for managing employee lateness within your business:

  • Have a procedure in place– It’s important for your employees to know what is expected of them, therefore a clear policy is necessary. This policy should be well communicated to all employees and should be fair across the entire workforce.
  • Define expectations– Clearly define when staff must arrive and your procedure for reporting lateness. Also, make sure they are aware of the consequences for consistent lateness.
  • Install a tracking method– Implement a system that allows you to keep track of employees’ arrival times e.g. timesheets or physical methods of clocking in when on-site.
  • Be proactive– Once you notice patterns in your employees’ lateness, do not wait for it to become a serious problem before addressing it.
  • Be Realistic– Be considerate about the occasional unavoidable issues such as unpredictable traffic or family emergencies.
  • Ask questions- Have a conversation with the employee to try and get to the root of the problem. What is their reason for being consistently late? Always have this conversation privately, especially in cases when disciplinary measures are needed.
  • Come up with a plan of action- Once the reasons behind the tardiness have been made clear, actions should be put in place to resolve the issue. Where possible, see if reasonable adjustments can be made.
  • Acknowledge improvements- If you notice the behaviour of your employee has improved, reinforce this good behaviour with praise.

Expert Advice

Is lateness a problem with members of your workforce? For further advice on managing staff lateness or any other queries of a similar nature, please contact the Business Support Helpline included in your MIA membership.

Email or call 01403 800500 for the exclusive Business Support Helpline scheme number.