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Late coming

Arev Jr
Fri, 14 Jul 2017 06:40:25 PM  (Last updated: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:23:41 PM)

Dear KL Siew,

I would like to seek some clarification on late coming.

Is a employer allowed to "deduct" salary due to tardiness?

The salary is "deducted" as No Pay Leave as the employee failed to fulfill the working hours stipulated in the employment contract.

The late coming is calculated by minutes as a biometric system is utilized to clock in and out.

Thanks in advance.

KL Siew
Sat, 15 Jul 2017 11:28:27 AM

Give a call to the Labour Department and talk to the officer whether employers should not deduct salary from the employee for coming to work late. For me, I do not favour deduction of salary for tardiness but instead, to take disciplinary action like giving warnings and other more serious action if the employees do not heed the warnings.

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:08:17 AM

Dear Mr. Siew,

Just my opinion - frequent late for work can be considered as a breach of employment contract whereby you are contracted to perform your duty for the duration of time stated in your contract as well as the indicated salary for.

The employer deduct the minute or hour according to the lateness because the staff has not perform his duty, hence he is not being paid for the missing hours. This is the explanation given by those employers who deduct their staffs's salaries for lateness.

Lateness can be considered as discipline issue whereby counseling and issue of warning letter but does this works? The former way proven to be far more effective to correct the staff's lateness, but sometimes does not work on hard-core lateness.

The procedure of counseling then given warning letters before termination of service takes a longer time and costs the Company in terms of time and money. The labour office stated we cannot deduct the staff salary for lateness but doing counseling and follows the procedures.

When I mentioned that the latter situation, he was unable to answer but to said to both employer and employee need to solve the situation amicably. If someone is contracted the sum of money to do work for a duration of time, should fulfill his/her part of the contract. That's is the fairness of the contract.

KL Siew
Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:34:00 AM

Hi Lisa

If deduction of wages for lateness is effective then it is well and good but such move may contravene section 24 of the EA. To me, if counseling, warnings are not heeded, the next will be taking disciplinary action like conducting DI and mete out penalties like downgrading, suspension without wage or dismissal. We just cannot afford to allow employees to come late for whatever reasons.

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:47:02 AM

I totally agree with KL Siew on handling the habitual lateness issue. A company cannot afford to have such employees who frequently cannot adhere to the rules & regulations. Thus, proper disciplinary actions must be imposed and if after all advices and warnings are not effective the employee's service should be terminated in accordance to the right practice.

Deducting part of the wages may indirectly send messages to the employees that the company allow lateness. The employer intends to curb lateness by deducting wages; but hard core employees may not care to lose part of his salary as long as his employment is still secured. 

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:23:41 PM

Dear MdKamil,

I do agreed with your statement but sometimes your boss may not have such "patience" and will not tolerate of having to pay the employee for the lateness.

They will even instructed you to issue warning letter on every week to same staff that come in late for work almost every week. To them, once 3 warning letters are given, the staff is automatically dismissed, don't care about procedure.

If you tell them not possible as we need to follow procedure, even warning letter is been issued , we need to give the staff time to improve his working attitude. Issuing 3 warning letters for same misconduct in a month is totally insane.

Wish there is a mandatory class for employer to educate them to follow the labour rules and regulations.

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