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About Recording Employee Attendance: Includes a Sample Form for Download

written by: Marjory Pilley•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/30/2012

Asking employees to record time spent on the job is not a matter of mistrust. It is a prudent business practice. Download a free printable employee attendance form and learn how to implement it in your business.

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    Use a free printable employee attendance record for your small business. 

    If you have employees, then you need a process to record attendance. Make it easy by downloading this: Sample Attendence Form. Even if the employees are classified as "exempt" under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and don't earn overtime, it is important to maintain a record of time spent on the job. Reasons to formalize the process at the point of hire include:

    • An agreement as to days worked is established. If there is ever a dispute, then there is an objective record of attendance.
    • The record may serve as the basis for payroll transactions.
    • The reasons for absences, such as sick time, jury duty, vacation and holidays can be summarized and reviewed when responding to requests for time-off.
    • The record is used to establish eligibility under the Family Medical Leave Act.
    • It documents non-performance of work requirements.
    • Analysis of work records can be used to address issues with absenteeism or other days off.

    The complexity of the tracking process will vary depending upon the number of employees, whether they work remotely or on-site and if they are paid hourly or earn a salary. Employees that must "charge-out" their time to clients pose additional requirements. See the article Top 5 Employee Time & Attendance Software Applications for some automated solutions. These systems are particularly appropriate when a company has a lot of hourly employees because it eliminates the manual process of calculating payroll hours.

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    Employee Attendance Record

    A time sheet is a form of an attendance record with more detail, such as the times an employee clocks in and out of work. If you don't need that type of detail or you don't have enough employees to warrant the purchase of an automated system, then use a manual form. Click the link to download the free printable employee attendance form from the Human Resource's Media Gallery of Bright Hub. Although the components of the form are fairly self-explanatory, the requirements for completing the form should always be explained to the users.

    Following is a sample policy that can be modified and provided to employees and managers that use the form.

    A record of employee attendance is required as part of your employment with our company. A monthly form has been developed for you to document attendance. Each month begin recording attendance in the row for "Week 1" on the appropriate day. For example, it the first day of the month falls on a Wednesday, then leave "Monday" and "Tuesday" blank on the line for "Week 1" and begin recording attendance in the box for "Wednesday." Place the appropriate code from the list provided. Update the form each day.

    When you are out of the office with an absence, update the form with the reason for your absence using the codes provided. Do not provide detailed reasons for personal absences on this form. If you feel that a code does not describe your situation, check with your manager regarding what code to use.

    At the end of the month, sign the form and submit it to your manager. Make a copy of the form for your records if desired.

    The manager will review the Attendance Record for accuracy and sign the bottom of the form prior to submitting it to the payroll area. If there is a discrepancy on the form, the manager will review it with you and obtain agreement for any changes needed. The employee will initial any changes that are made to the record.

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    How to Modify and Use the Attendance Form

    The employee attendance record can be easily customized. Add or delete codes that are relevant to your company and align with your human resources policies. The "Monthly Summary" box has been included for companies that need to keep a running total of absences for the purpose of responding to requests for time off. This summary should be completed by a manager, owner or payroll clerk.

    Other suggestions for use of this form:

    • Establish a written policy for completing the attendance record that is available for all employees to review.
    • Ask everyone to follow the same process for recording attendance.
    • Emphasize that reasons for sick leave should not be listed on this form. It is a good idea to maintain any medical information in a separate file from regular personnel information that is accessible by only a few people.
    • Retain Employee Attendance Forms in the employee's personnel file. Most experts suggest keeping this file for 7 years after the date of termination.

    Image Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1281977