8 Sections for Your Employee Attendance Policy Handbook
There are many important factors to consider when preparing your company’s employee attendance policy handbook. While each policy should be tailored to meet the needs and requirements of the company, here are sections that should be covered in any policy handbook.
Define the typical hours of a workday. If you have a specific start / stop time, these should be clearly detailed. If your company has a flextime policy, this too should be made clear. Some flextime policies only require that employees work a specific number of hours per day, while others allow each employee to establish her or her start and end time to which they must adhere. The policy should explain how work hours are tracked.
The policy should include instructions on who should be notified if an employee has to miss work. Explain what, if any, forms or paperwork need to be completed for tracking and reporting purposes and by whom. Do the same notification procedures apply if an employee is going to be late for work? This section should also indicate what the failure to provide proper notification for absences would entail.
3. Eligibility Requirement
Define how and when employees are eligible to receive paid time off. Do they have a certain number of paid sick days available to them as soon as their employment begins, or is there a waiting period? Does your company also provide a certain number of paid personal days that can be used for reasons other than illness? If so, the policy should explain how and when an employee becomes eligible for these.
Some companies allow unused sick or personal days from one year to carry forward to the next, while others reset these at the end of each year. Explain if sick and personal days can be carried forward and when the new year begins.
4. Medical Notes
Explain if employees who are off sick will be required to provide a note from a physician. Detail what circumstances would trigger this requirement (in most cases, it’s after a certain number of consecutive days off have passed or if a certain number of days off will be needed.)
It’s unavoidable that employees will arrive late for work from time to time. If you are tracking late arrivals, the policy should explain the repercussions for chronic tardiness. Will a certain number of instances eventually be counted as a full day’s absence? Is there a grace period before an employee is considered late?
The policy should be very explicit about the repercussions of not following the ascribed procedure. What will happen if an employee exceeds the number of sick days available to him or her? If absences or tardiness reaches an unacceptable level, explain how this will be communicated to the employee and what the next steps will entail.
Your policy should explain how your company deals with the Family Medical Leave Act, if applicable. Provide details on how an employee qualifies for it and what the process associated with it is.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is designed to protect the civilian employment of those who serve in the Armed Forces, Reserve, National Guard, or other Uniformed Services. Your policy should explain how military leave and reemployment would be dealt with in your company.
There’s a lot more that could, and probably should be included in your employee attendance policy handbook, but these 8 sections should serve as the backbone of a good, comprehensive policy.
While ATS is passionate about time and attendance and excited to support organizations navigate workforce dynamics around timekeeping, we recommend you reach out to your regional and/or local HR chapter for more information on common workplace advice and procedures.