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Warning letter for lateness to work

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Warning letter for lateness to work
December 12, 2018 1st Anniversary Wishes 4 comments

You usually issue an employee with a warning letter after meeting with them to . for example regularly attending work late or not completing required tasks>.

Date issued: [Today’s date]

Issued to: [Employee name]

RE: Written warning for continued late attendance

Dear [Employee Name],

Your continued lateness to work is deemed unacceptable by management. This letter is an official written warning. Specifically, you have been late on the following occurrences:

  • Date and time the employee arrived at work late
  • Date and time the employee arrived at work late
  • Date and time the employee arrived at work late

We strive to create a workplace that is fair for all employees. When you continuously arrive late to work, you are not only in breach of the standards we expect of our employees, you are also creating a workplace that is unfair for your colleagues.

We set scheduled times for your work so we can correctly meet our business goals and best service our clients. Everyone in the team strives for our continued success as a business, and having a single team member arriving late causes our standards to slip is also unfair on your colleagues who are following our high standards.

We expect you to remedy this breach of our attendance requirement immediately.

Continued lateness may result in termination or other disciplinary action.



Manager Name

Being punctual is one of the most important attributes that an employee should have and must always practice in the workplace.

Assignment Point - Solution for Best Assignment Paper

warning letter for lateness to work

What can employers do about an employee who is persistently late?

25 January, 2016

by: Emma Saunders

Employers expect employees to arrive at work on time and are sure to agree with William Shakespeare when he wrote ‘better three hours too soon than a minute late’. Employers do, however, understand the occasional lateness of employees for genuine reasons such as traffic, train delays or family issues.

Whilst once or twice is acceptable, being persistently late without good reason should not be tolerated. The Employment Tribunal has examined this issue in a recent case. This case involved a long serving employee who was dismissed for persistent lateness following an accumulation of warnings.

The employee was advised that his timekeeping would be monitored and that disciplinary proceedings would be carried out if there was no improvement. Following a series of warnings and discussions, the employee was issued a final written warning.

Around the same time, the employer began an initiative to improve all employees’ attendance and timekeeping. This included disciplinary meetings and warnings for staff who had a certain level of absence / lateness. As the employee was already in receipt of a final written warning, he was dismissed for misconduct.

The employee brought a claim for unfair dismissal on the grounds that he had a difficult bus journey to work and his two previous warnings were unfair, among other things.

The Tribunal acknowledged the employee had a difficult journey to work, but his claim was rejected because he had been persistently late, he knew the importance of arriving at work on time and that any failure to do so could result in disciplinary action and the employer had conducted a fair procedure.

This case shows that persistent lateness can lead to a fair dismissal if the employer:

  • manages lateness fairly and consistently;
  • has a clear absence policy which sets out the required timekeeping standards and the consequences of failing to meet those standards; and 
  • documents every discussion and warning to be able to provide evidence if needed.
WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Tardiness and Absences
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What can employers do about an employee who is persistently late?

warning letter for lateness to work

Every organization expects the punctuality of its employees in the company. The careless behavior and not observing the rules and regulations of the company cannot be tolerated at any cost. Because of this, every company has some strict policies to keep a check on the punctuality of the employees. Many companies also deduct the salaries of the latecomers.

In order to maintain the office timings, a notice in the form of circular is sent to the employees. The main purpose of this notice is to remind the policies of the company so that the employee can follow them.

The notice to late coming employee should be written in a formal way. The tone of the notice should be polite. The notice is kept as a record in the company so when the company decides to terminate the employee, it can show that notice as a proof that the employee was repeatedly warned.

The notice is written on the letterhead of the company. In order to give the notice more professional look, it should be signed by the owner of the company.

Notice to late coming employees:

It has observed that there are a lot of irregularities and indiscipline in the entire staff of the company. The late coming of the employees has been recorded several times which is seriously affecting the productivity of the employee and growth of the company.

The organization always understands the genuine reason for being late and cooperates with its employees. However, it has to take strict actions when the employee starts taking this privilege for granted. So, from now onwards, no request of the employee for coming late would be acceptable.

Henceforth, it is to inform that if the management of the company find any employee coming late to work, the strict action will be taken against him/her according to the agreed upon terms and conditions of the job. Some of the serious actions include the deduction in the salary of the employee. It is therefore expected that the employee will be at work in right time.


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The Notice Template

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For problem employee, write a formal warning letter including past warnings and are written up across all industries is excessive tardiness.

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warning letter for lateness to work

Sample Written Warning Letter for Tardiness

Sample Written Warning Letter for Tardiness

Dear Mr. Peter J. Johnson:

This is a first written warning being issued to you for violating our company policy on tardiness, as outlined in our company employee handbook. You were provided a copy of our company employee handbook at your orientation on June 1, 2009.

Specifically, you were tardy on August 3, 2010, 7 minutes, on September 22, 2010, eleven minutes, and again on October 7, 2010, nine minutes. On all three occasions you did not call prior to your scheduled start time to request permission to be tardy. In our employee handbook it states that an employee is considered tardy if they arrive to work any amount of time past their scheduled start time. In addition, you were issued a written counseling on September 24, 2010, for violating our policy on tardiness.

Mr. Johnson, it is important for you to report to work prior to your scheduled start time and ready to begin your shift. If you are not able to report for work it is required that you contact your supervisor prior to your scheduled start time and request permission to be excused. Understand that it is the supervisor’s prerogative to grant or not grant permission to be excused or tardy.

If there is an underlying reason why you are not able to report to work as scheduled it is important for you to discuss this with your supervisor for possible solutions.

Any future violations of our policy on tardiness, or any policy, may result in additional disciplinary action up to and including possible termination.


Robert R. Smith

Peter J. Johnson

My signature does not necessarily indicate that I am in agreement with the above statements; however, it does indicate that I was informed of the contents of this letter.

Sample Attendance Policy for the Sample Written Warning Letter Above

This Company fully understands and recognizes the value of providing quality service to its customers. To ensure that quality, every associate is required and expected to be at work when scheduled.

When an associate is planning to be absent from any portion of a scheduled work day other than for previously scheduled vacation, that associate must notify their Supervisor no less than three (3) days prior to the absence. We also understand that there are unexpected circumstances (emergencies such as a death in the family) that may prohibit your ability to meet this requirement and in those cases it is critical that you present your request at the very earliest opportunity.

When an associate is unexpectedly unable to report to work, or is going to be late, that associate must contact their supervisor no later than two hours prior to the time that the associate is scheduled to be at work.

Failure to notify your supervisor of such absence may result in disciplinary action.

When an associate experiences unscheduled absences on consecutive days, that associate must contact their supervisor each day. Failure to notify your supervisor may result in disciplinary action. Failure to notify your supervisor for three (3) consecutive workdays will be considered your voluntary resignation. Written medical verification authorizing you to return to work will be required of any associate that exceeds an unscheduled absence for two (2) consecutive workdays.

Tardiness will not be tolerated. There is no grace period. Excessive tardiness may result in disciplinary action being taken, i.e., a written warning letter. An associate will not be paid for the time he or she is tardy to work.

Absences for a death in the associate's immediate family (spouse, child, parent or grandparent), illness with a doctor's excuse or verifiable auto accident may be deemed "excused" absences by the Company for which no disciplinary action will be taken.

Sample Written Warning Letter for Unexcused Absence

Dear Mr. Alan E. Davidson:

You are being issued a written warning letter for not complying with our Company Policy on Attendance.

Specifically, on June 5, 2010, July 17, 2010, and August 7, 2010, you had unscheduled absences. Although you did follow the Company Policy on notifying your supervisor in advance there appears to be a pattern.

As stated in our Company Attendance Policy your attendance is an essential part of our Company's success. Therefore, it is critical that you report to work as scheduled. It is also important to understand that a pattern of abuse is not defined by any specific set of absences or tardiness.

Mr. Davidson, if the event that you violate this policy, or any other Company policy, you will be subject to additional disciplinary action up to and including termination.


Robert R. Smith

Alan E. Davidson

My signature does not necessarily indicate that I am in agreement with the above statements; however, it does indicate that I was informed of the contents of this letter.

A Sample Progressive Discipline Policy to go with our Sample Written Warning Letter

Insert Your Business Name Here” defines the "Process of Progressive Discipline" as a process that actively seeks to rectify an employee’s lack of performance at the workplace through the provision of constructive feedback to their behavior. It typically includes a pre-determined series of gradually increasing formal steps, including but restricted to written counseling, written warning, suspension, and termination. The company utilizes the PPD process to call to attention, those staff members of the company who are not meeting the minimum standards or goals as expected.

 PPD is also used to take action against those staff members “Insert Your Business Name Here” who have clearly violated the behavioral code of the company as described in this manual. The management of the company believes that the core purpose of progressive disciplinary proceedings against a staff member is not so much to penalize and punish the employee but to help them increase his own productivity and/or remedy their behavior till all such issues have been successfully resolved.  Progressive discipline in effect is a handy tool that provides managers/supervisors with an approach that is both transparent and fair along with being consistent as well. This tool, if used correctly, not only helps management handle all disciplinary action related problems but also safeguards the lawful rights of both the company as well as its all as its staff members.

Some examples of behavioral or misconduct that may result in disciplinary action, up to and including possible termination:

Intentional abuse of company property

* Insubordination

* Poor Attendance/Tardiness

* Disrespectful Behavior

* Stealing

* Arguing/fighting with co-workers and colleagues

* Throwing objects

* Falling asleep on the job

* Sexual Harassment

* Violence

* Intoxication

* Substance/drug abuse

As a general rule the progressive disciplinary process will include a written counseling, a first and second written warning, and finally termination if the employee continues to display poor behavior or misconduct within any twelve month period. However, some behavior or misconduct may warrant more severe discipline immediately and skip steps within the progressive disciplinary process. In extremely severe behavior or misconduct the employee may be terminated immediately.

Sample Company Attendance Policy
for the Sample Written Warning Letter Above

An employee's attendance, including reporting to work on time, is an essential part of our Company's success. Good attendance is expected and anticipated by all employees. However, the Company recognizes that from time to time an employee will need unscheduled time off for illness or personal emergencies.

In the event that an employee is not able to report to work as scheduled the employee is required to notify their supervisor as soon as possible in advance, but no later than their scheduled start time. If an employee is not personally able to contact their supervisor due to incapacitation they are required to have a responsible person contact the supervisor on their behalf. Understand that simply contacting your supervisor does not necessarily excuse your absence. Your supervisor always has the right to deny a request for time off based on the company's requirements.

If the employee is unable to report to work as scheduled for more than three consecutive days for medical reasons the employee is required to provide medical documentation substantiating their medical reasons for being absent. In addition, the medical documentation should also provide a release for the employee to return to work without restrictions. If there are restrictions the Company has the right to allow, or not allow, the employee to return to work.

If an employee's attendance, including tardiness, begins to show a pattern of abuse the employee may become subject to disciplinary action, such as a written warning letter, and up to and including possible termination.

Any employee not reporting to work for three or more consecutive days without notifying their supervisor or any other company official is considered to have voluntarily resigned their position.

Employees Today Are Waiting For Their Chance To Win the Wrongful Discharge Law Suit Lottery!

When someone thinks that they have a chance to win $500,000 simply by filing a wrongful discharge law suit, you can guarantee they will be doing it!

Having clearly stated policies that you follow fairly and consistently is one way to alter the employee from being successful in their attempt to bankrupt you!

As an example, attendance is commonly abused by many employees. It starts out slow at first and then builds into a huge problem.

You hire people because you need them there to do a job! When they're not you are going to lose money!

So you finally blow a fuse and fire the person for poor attendance and they turn around and file a wrongful discharge law suit! Not everyone will do this but it will only take one to destroy your business!

One of the first things you will be asked for is what is your policy on attendance?

Then you will be asked to provide the attendance records of everyone else going back a specific amount of time!

If the wrongful discharge law suit is based on discrimination (they claim you really didn't fire them for their poor attendance it was based on their religious beliefs) you will be even providing more information and it will be placed under a microscope.

Now if you have a policy on attendance that you provided to the employee at the beginning of their employment that they signed, you are much further down the road to having the law suit dismissed.

All of this providing you have treated everyone the same of course. (Note: I have provided a sample written warning letter above.)

Make sure before ever issuing a written warning letter you have a basis for doing so. Your employees are real people with families. Their lives can be dependent upon your actions. Generally speaking many companies allow up to two or three written warning letter before considering termination.

Thank you for reviewing this information on a sample written warning letter for tardiness. Remember that this is only a sample written warning letter; therefore, when issuing a written warning letter insure you have it reviewed by a company official or your legal representative.

Again, thank you for reviewing this information on a sample written warning letter for tardiness and May God Bless You.

More Information on a Sample Written Warning Letter for Tardiness

“Don’t sweat the small stuff,” may be the ultimate piece of management advice often used by employers. But even for the calmest of managers, turning a blind eye to an employee who is perpetually late, is hands down impossible.

Being a few minutes late to work, rarely, is no big deal, even employers acknowledge that – yet habitually late employees can affect bottom line of a company. Additionally, work-related tardiness is a blatant sign of disrespect that can also result in lessened productivity and tensions within the company.

What should be done to rectify behavior of chronic latecomers? (Note: Please see the sample written warning letter above for suggestions on format and possible language.)

Solve the Issue As Soon As It Rises

Coming in late to work due to an urgent personal or familial issue, traffic or weather problems aren’t the real issues. Habitually late employees don’t make any effort to come in early to work, influencing others indirectly with their behavior. Hence, taking prompt action is encouraged once a pattern is identified. Is the employee 5 minutes late to work every day? Other employees might get the wrong idea if the latecomer isn’t apprehended. This can cause everyone to come in late, seeing you don’t have a system in place to acknowledge or apprehend employees coming in late to work!

Address Issues of Late Attendance with a Written Memo 

Ensure your company operates smoothly by addressing all issues concerned with employee tardiness the minute they arise. Verbal addresses should be opted first but concerns can be written if verbal warnings don’t result in improved behavior.

A memo addressing late attendance will help achieve this! (Note: I have provided a sample written warning letter above.)

Words to Avoid When Writing the Memo

All written communication to employees must always be clear and concise. Try to avoid using words like ‘might’, ‘should’, and ‘probably’

Make sure the employee knows exactly where he or she stands as far as repeated late attendance to work is concerned. Avoid adding in words of praise about employee’s work performance to soften the blow. You don’t need to do this at all!

Stick to the issue at hand namely the employee’s repeated late attendance at work in order to avoid all confusion or liability! Remember to ask the employee to sign his copy of the memo.

Also don’t present the memo in public, where other employees can see the exchange taking place. This will have a negative impact on the employee’s behavior.

One of the main reasons I produced this website and this particular page including several sample written warning letter examples was that I know how hard it is to sit down and put into words a structured warning letter that will get your point across. I truly hope these sample written warning letter examples have been helpful along with the sample attendance and tardiness policies.

Want help in writing the important document? Leadership Skills for Life and our extensive library of important forms is at your disposal! (Note: I have provided a sample written warning letter above and within other pages on my website.)

Thank for reviewing these sample written warning letter for tardiness and other sample written warning letter examples and May God Bless You!


When it comes to issuing a written warning letter for tardiness it generally means that someone has been tardy more than a few times. Of course, this is up to you and your own policy that you have presented in your employee handbook.


Dear Mr./Ms. Employee:

This written warning letter is being issued to you for your failure to follow our company policy on attendance.

Specifically, you have been tardy from work on three separate occasions; on June 2, 2010, you were tardy six minutes, on July 21, 2010 you were tardy eleven minutes, on August 18, 2010 you were tardy nine minutes.

As presented in our employee handbook you are required to be at work and ready for your daily assignment on or before your scheduled start time. If you are unable to be present at work you are required to contact your supervisor prior to your shift beginning and request permission unless there are circumstances beyond your control.

As a reminder our company offers an Employee Assistance Program designed to offer individuals assistance with personal situations, such as addictions, marital/family issues, personal finances, etc. This program is completely confidential.

Mr./Ms. Employee, any future violations of our company policy may result in additional discipline up to and including possible termination.

Supervisor’s Signature

Employee’s Signature

Signing this document only confirms that the above letter and information was presented and discussed. It does not indicate that the employee agrees with the information.

Remember that having a solid progressive discipline policy within your employee handbook will only help you maintain equal and fair treatment of all employees when you are issuing a written warning letter. Not having a written policy is generally when employers find themselves defending against claims of discrimination. Almost everyone at some point in their lives will fall into a protected class such as, age, race, national origin, color, sex, religion, etc.

Understand that the Employee Handbook Templates website strongly recommends that you always seek legal advice on any issues that involve labor law and/or issuing a written warning letter. Every state may have different labor laws and the above letter may violate their statues.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Sample of warning letter for late attendance

Sample letters to reprimand an employee for poor attendance or tardiness. English Samples. Spanish Samples. Guide to Write Your Letter.

warning letter for lateness to work
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