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Employee warning letter for tardiness

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Employee warning letter for tardiness
November 30, 2018 Anniversary Wishes 5 comments

Sample warning letter to employee for tardiness can guide you if you are the company head and want to give a warning letter to your employees. The letter.


[Senders Name]
[Address line]
[State, ZIP Code]

[Letter Date]

[Recipients Name]
[Address line]
[State, ZIP Code]

[Subject: Normally bold, summarizes the intention of the letter] -Optional-

Dear [Recipients Name],

I firmly believe that an employee's ability to make it to the office on time says a lot about his or her work ethic. Not being tardy shows a worker's eagerness, commitment, and respect for the job that he or she is being asked to do. It saddens me to have to let you know that should you be late to work again in the next few days; I have no other choice but to submit your file and a recommendation for dismissal to the HR team.

Our records have shown that just in the past week you have been noted tardy three times. In the past month, there has not been a week that you haven't been late at least once.

I would like to hear an explanation from you. Perhaps there is something that we can do to help you from being consistently late. Please see me in my office as soon as possible.


[Senders Name]
[Senders Title] -Optional-

[Enclosures: number] - Optional -
cc: [Name of copy recipient] - Optional -

Reprimand letter to an employee for poor attendance, tardiness.

Further things to consider when writing reprimand letters to employees

Reprimand Letters

Reprimand letters are letters written to rebuke or criticize others because of their actions or behavior. These are usually written by supervisors at work and used as an official statement of a behavior an employee needs to improve. A reprimand letter specifically and clearly points out the behavior or performance problem an employee is supposed to improve as well as the consequences if he/she shows no improvement. In most cases, a reprimand letter is preceded by a formal verbal warning about the issue. It is one of the major elements that constitute a company's disciplinary process.

Effective reprimand letters use strong, yet respectable tone. Prior to writing, check to see that the company procedures and policies are in place. Start by mentioning the recipient's positive qualities or behavior. Make a clear statement of the performance issue or behavior that the recipient must improve. Explain how this has impacted the company negatively. Enumerate specific suggestions on how the recipient can improve the situation. Describe any actions that will be taken against the recipient if the situation doesn't change. End on a positive note that gives encouragement, demonstrates concern, or that expresses confidence that the recipient will resolve the issue.

Letters to Employees

Letters to employees are letters written to individuals who work for an organization or for another person. If you are an employer or manage a group of employees, the chances are that you will have to write to the employees at some point. It could be an introduction letter to introduce a new product or service to salespersons, a rejection letter to turn down an employee's request for a promotion, or a thank-you letter to thank an employee for his/her hard work. You could also write a termination letter to fire an employee for his/her poor performance. Whatever the reason for your writing, the letter must be formal and professional.

All letters to employees must be addressed with the proper names of the recipients. But if your message is intended for all employees in general, you can address your letter as "To all employees". State the purpose of the letter. Convey your message briefly but clearly, highlighting all the important details. If the issue that you are writing about requires further explanation, make sure to offer your explanation in a way that the recipient can easily understand. Wrap it up with a positive note or a call to action.

These articles may interest you

❑Attendance. ❑Carelessness. ❑Insubordination. ❑Lateness/leaving early. ❑ Failure to follow instructions. ❑Violation of safety rules.

How to write warning Letter for Late Coming?

employee warning letter for tardiness

TIME is everyone’s most valuable commodity. Every organisation expects employees to be punctual and stick to the deadline for completing their work.

Wasting time and, even worse, wasting the time of another is detrimental to the organisation. Being late cannot be accepted as part of our culture.

Tardiness must be reproached in the workplace, be it government or private. Words such as “sorry for being late” will never bring back a person’s “lost” time.

One of the basic obligations of an employee is to be present at his employer’s workplace to render the services expected of him. Tardiness occurs when an employee fails to be available at work on time. Employees offer numerous reasons for being late, such as being caught in traffic jams, road blocks or flash floods. Being silent and/or complacent about the lackadaisical attitude of a person towards time is certainly not good for any organisation.

Persistent lateness could lead to a breakdown in team atmosphere among the employees, which can affect morale and impact on the company’s overall productivity.

It may cause inconvenience to other employees who will have to focus on a higher number of tasks at any one time to compensate for those who reported late for work.

Hence, the company has the right to require its employees to come to work on time and to take disciplinary action, including dismissal, in the event of persistent tardiness. The Industrial Court has in many of its awards confirmed the management prerogative to discipline employees and impose dismissal as the punishment.

In this situation, the employer should maintain a policy on good time-keeping practices which should be properly communicated to all employees and enforced fairly and consistently. In the process of dismissing an employee for excessive or habitual tardiness, the employer must adhere to the proper procedures, which include reprimanding and issuing warning or show cause letters to the employee concerned. An isolated and single occasion of lateness would not justify the issuance of a show cause letter.

If lateness persists despite the informal action, such as final warning, reprimand and counselling, among others, it may become a disciplinary matter and a formal disciplinary procedure will be necessary.

Even after there has been a full disciplinary process and the employee’s time-keeping has not improved, the employer may terminate his service.


Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws

International Islamic University Malaysia

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How to Give Warnings to Employees for Being Late

employee warning letter for tardiness

Part of a manager's job is to discipline employees who fail to follow the rules. While a simple verbal warning will suffice for first-time, minor infractions, more serious or repeat infractions call for a documented, written warning. This will help to not only explain to the employee what he did wrong and what is expected of him but also allow you to keep a copy of the warning for the employee's file, which may be useful later on. Writing such a warning may seem like a daunting task, but with a written warning template, the process can actually be fairly simple.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

A written warning should follow a standard template and include information such as which rules were broken, a detailed description of the offense and how the employee needs to improve.

Why Use a Written Warning

A written warning can be useful for both the employee and the company. For the employee, the warning can provide clear guidance and instructions on what the company expects from her and how to improve her job performance to avoid further warnings. For the company, the written warning can help prove that action was taken so further steps can be taken if the problem continues. It also serves as documentation of the problem in case the employee files some sort of legal dispute later on, such as a wrongful termination case.

When to Use These Warnings

Every business will have different problems with different employees based on the company's own rules and the type of people working there. That being said, the most common reason employees are written up across all industries is excessive tardiness.

Usually a warning letter to an employee is issued after a verbal warning has been given, but this isn't always the case. If a serious one-time offense occurred, it makes sense to bypass a verbal warning and immediately have a written warning that can go in the employee's file. It is worth noting that all verbal warnings should be documented after the fact, including the time and date of the warning, and these should be entered in the employee file so there is no confusion as to whether the employee has or has not been warned about a particular problem.

Using a Letter of Reprimand

It's a good idea to look up templates for both a written warning and an employee discipline letter before you need them. These should be customized for your company and prepared for use before you actually write up an employee. Each employee who receives a warning or discipline notice should receive the same form filled out with information relevant to the specific problem being documented. This will ensure all employees are treated fairly and equally.

Always fill in every blank on a preprinted warning form letter. If something doesn't apply, you can write "N/A" so it is clear that it was not applicable and that you weren't being negligent in filling out the form. If you actually write a letter using a template, you do not need to do this but still write the letter thoroughly with as much detail as possible. Taking these steps can protect you if legal problems arise later. For this reason, always use formal language and avoid using shorthand or jargon.

While you should work with a template, the specific tone used in a letter of reprimand should vary based on the severity of the infraction. If the employee was late a few times, for example, you may simply focus on correcting the behavior and set a more positive tone to encourage him to show up on time. If an employee curses at a customer, though, you might want to have a much more serious tone that focuses on potential penalties should he err again.

Give the letter to the employee in person, not via email and not by just leaving it on the employee's desk. You may choose to have a witness present or not, but do not handle the matter publicly in front of the rest of the staff. This can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is important to do. It can actually be beneficial to talk to the employee about the situation, though, as she may believe the letter sounds more or less strict than you intended it to be, and even your presence can help emphasize the tone you intended to take in the letter. You may soften the blow of the letter by offering the employee some positive feedback but never do so if it causes any confusion about the severity of the warning you are issuing.

Always get a signature from the employee while you are present. If he refuses to sign it, ask him to sign a letter stating that he refused to sign the warning. Keep the signed copy for the employee's record. If the employee signed a letter stating that he refuses to sign the warning, staple this to the letter. Also provide a copy to the employee for his records.

Employee Write-Up Example

A written warning letter should start out with the basic formalities, such as the subject, date, time, your name, your job title, the employee's name and job title and the names of any other people receiving a copy of the memo. You may want to include your company's logo at the top of the form, but this is optional.

If you have an employee handbook, you should first state what part of the company policy was violated. You can either write out the specific policy or simply include a reference to the relevant section of the handbook. If you do not have a handbook, then simply write a brief summary of the company rules that apply.

Include whether this is the first or final warning, and if it is a serious infraction, make note of this as well. The warning should have a time frame, meaning that if enough time passes, the warning will be removed from the employee's record and not count as a prior warning. In other words, a previous written warning about tardiness shouldn't count against the employee if she starts to come in late three years later. The letter should still remain in the employee's personnel file for reference, though. Generally, a first-time warning should last six months, a serious offense should last eight months and a final warning should last one year, but this can vary according to your company's policies.

Next, describe exactly what happened in as much detail as possible, including the date, time and names of all people involved. Do not include subjective details like saying that the employee was mean to another employee. Instead, spell out exactly what the employee did that could be interpreted as being mean. You may choose to write your description of the events, the employee's description of the events and any witness descriptions of the events if these accounts vary. If you use a preprinted form and there is not enough space to write all relevant details, it is OK to attach a second piece of paper if necessary.

To help the employee improve, follow the details of what happened with how the employee's behavior needs to change and how soon she should make such changes. Follow this up with clearly detailed information on what consequences will result if she fails to correct her behavior. Remember that the written warning is not a disciplinary action, so be sure to state what disciplinary actions will occur should the problem continue. Finally, sign and date the letter, present it to the employee and ask her and any witnesses to the meeting to also sign and date it.

Subject: Letter of Concern. This Letter of Concern is being issued to you as a result of your absenteeism and tardiness to work. Your attendance at work is an.

10 Late Warning Letter Examples

employee warning letter for tardiness

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.

When tardiness is a persistent problem for an employee, then the company must send that employee a letter of warning. Such a letter will act as a written.

employee warning letter for tardiness
Written by Tojagul
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