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What is time theft?

What is time theft?


Definition: Time theft

What is time theft? Time theft is a workplace infraction that occurs when employees log more work hours than worked.

This added time is considered ‘theft’ because it allows employees to receive more compensation than earned. Cumulatively, time theft impacts a significant amount of an employer’s annual payroll. In fact, the American Payroll Association, reports that the average company can attribute 1-8% of payroll costs to time theft.


The cost of time theft


A survey of 1000 people found that 49% of individuals admit to time theft.

Imagine you own a company with 200 hourly employees. According to this survey, that means that 98 of those employees are likely committing time theft. If each of those 98 employees logged 20 extra minutes of work time each week, the total would equal almost 33 hours...enough to hire an additional full-time employee!


How to prevent time theft

1. Time theft policies 

The first thing to understand is that not all employees understand time and attendance expectations. Make a point to outline cases in which the employee should clock in and out. Also indicate instances which constitute time theft and what consequences an employee will face for committing time theft. By setting clear expectations, you can more easily hold employees accountable.

You should also educate employees on the cumulative effect of time theft. Not everyone thinks from a managerial perspective, so it’s likely that your employees haven’t considered the overall impact of time theft.

2. Adopt time and attendance platform

A good time and attendance administration software simplifies the time and attendance experience for both employees and administrators. Employees should be able to clock in and out, review history, and request time edits. An employer should be able to manage all employee time and attendance without leaving the platform.

3. Employee time theft punishment

Make sure to hold employees accountable to the time and attendance standards of your company. Because you have clearly presented your time and attendance expectations, you need to take disciplinary action when an employee reports inaccurate hours. By following through, you make it clear that your company takes time theft seriously.


Employee time theft resources 

Stop Employee Time Theft e-book

Examples of time theft

Watch a video on BerniePortal time & attendance


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