Don’t let your business fall victim to time theft
Time theft is when your employee accepts payment for work which they have not done the hours for, or similarly if they have done the hours but haven’t completed the necessary amount of work in that space of time.
Examples of time theft:
- Employees taking longer breaks than they’re allotted.
This is one of the most common types of time theft in the workplace and can be particular prevalent amongst smokers who may be taking frequent cigarette breaks on top of their standard break allowance.
- Personal calls/Internet use
Employees are usually allowed to make the odd personal call or check their emails, however this becomes a problem when it gets excessive. If your employee is spending more time checking their phone or scrolling through Buzzfeed than doing their work, it could be becoming a problem.
- Time card/sign-in sheet fraud
This is most common in retail or factory jobs where workers are able to manually clock in their hours either through writing them down or using a time card. If an employee asks someone to clock in for them, or lies about the hours they’ve spent at work on their time sheet, this is fraud and a clear example of time theft.
Preventing time theft
Since it can come in different forms, time theft is not always easy to notice which makes it even harder to prevent. However, there are measures that can be put in place to reduce time theft occurring in your company.
Effective monitoring is the best way to reduce time theft especially if you’re relying on your colleagues to track and clock their own hours. If you’re not always available to monitor your staff, it’s may be a good idea to invest in a good time management software package which allows you to monitor check in and check out times. These can even include biometric devices which use sophisticated technology to identify your employee through retina or fingerprint scanning, obliging them to be physically present at their check-in/check-out.
In regards to extended breaks and excessive personal time, it may be worth talking to the employee in question to find out if they’re getting distracted by anything in their home lives and gently reiterate their working hours. If it’s not affecting their work and it’s out of character then it may be worth letting it slide for short term periods, however, if you’re faced with an employee taking advantage, it could be worth considering disciplinary action.
Just remain aware, if you set down the law too strictly then you could isolate the vast majority of your staff who are putting in the solid hours of work required. The measures you take need to be fair and not excessively regimented, otherwise you will be at risk of affecting the atmosphere in the workplace.
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