The workplace is full of rules and processes and for good reason. Many of the things we as employees see as chores are often vital to a business. One such chore is having to clock in and clock out of work. But the process of clocking in/out is more important than you think. Read on to find out more.

What Does to Clock Out Mean?

To clock out is to record your time of departure from work. It is often essential to signify to an employer that you have ended your shift and left work. From a pay and work perspective, it allows employers to see when you actually finished. It is also important for health and safety so that an employer can account for all employees in the event of a fire or other catastrophic event.

Can Your Employer Clock You in And Out?

Absolutely not. The act of clocking in and out is vital to understand when an employee is working and present in the building. If an employer clocks an employee in or out when they shouldn’t, they are in essence committing fraud. On top of this, they are also in breach of several Health and Safety directives that could lead to serious repercussions.

Why Is It Important to Clock in And Out Of Work?

There are many reasons it is important that employee’s clock in and out of their workplace, including:

  • So the employer can see exactly how many hours the employee has worked. This is vital for things like payroll and working out holiday entitlement.
  • So that the employer and emergency services know exactly who is in the building. If an emergency arises, it is vital that a full list of who is on site is maintained.
  • To prevent fraud, lateness, and absence. Having employees clock in and out allows an employer to see exactly who is on time and who is missing. It can help prevent employees from taking advantage of the employer by being constantly late or absent.

clock out from work

Is It Illegal to Clock Someone Else Out at Work?

There is no legal guidance prohibiting clocking somebody other than yourself in or out at work. It is, however, seen as a bad thing for many reasons.

Often clocking a different employee out of a shift is done to commit fraud against an employer. For example, to make it look like a worker left later than they actually did. For this reason, if an employer catches an employee clocking somebody else out, it could lead to disciplinary procedures. In many cases, it may lead to dismissal.

What Are the Legal Guidelines to Clock in And Out?

There are no legal guidelines in the UK that directly govern clocking in and out. There is, however, a requirement for employers to have a system of monitoring employee work hours. As such, most companies have their own policies. The rules that they employ can include things like:

  • How early or late an employee can clock in or out.
  • How they clock in or out.
  • How they use the clocking-in system for signifying breaks.

Try Papershift’s time tracking software to simplify employee clock-in and out and also be legally compliant. Signup for a free demo.

Written by Siva

I write & describe the value & benefits delivered by Paperhift's rota planning, staff time tracking, and employee payroll management software. Especially useful for Shift Planners, Rota Managers, Team Admins, and HR Teams 🙂

Illustration by Fruzka from Ouch!