Lateness: a ‘national epidemic’

It seems Monday is the day that most of us are late for work, with 65 per cent of all tardiness occurring at the start of the week, says a new survey of 2,149 employees across the UK.

Businesses are losing a minimum of £66 million a year due to staff lateness and according to the study, carried out by employment law specialist Peninsula BusinessWise, 77 per cent of workers have lied about why they were late. Delayed public transport is the most popular excuse, followed by heavy traffic, faking illness, lost keys and even false car accidents.

The survey also quizzed workers on the silliest excuses they have used for being late. The top five most ridiculous excuses were as follows:

  • The dog ate my car keys
  • I can’t drive as I’m still drunk from last night
  • I couldn’t find anywhere to park
  • I didn’t sleep last night because my wife locked me out
  • I can’t come in because I’ve been arrested

Mike Huss, senior Employment Law Specialist at Peninsula, says: ‘Lateness appears to have become a national epidemic and bosses need to act sooner rather than later to minimise it. It’s worrying to note that bosses are not taking the issue of lateness seriously in the workplace.

‘Bosses should have systems in place enabling them to monitor the punctuality of the employees, in order to highlight any patterns such as particular days or certain times of the month. This will allow the employer to take any relevant action towards any individual who shows an unacceptable lack of punctuality.’

Click here to read a guide to dealing with staff absence.

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc (previous owner of before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the...

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