Allowing employees time off during work hours

May 2, 2008

Our practice's employees often leave during the day to take care of personal matters. Although they claim they make up the lost time by working through lunch, I suspect they're not putting in the 40 hours a week we're paying them for. Should we be flexible and allow them to come and go as long as the work gets done, or should we insist they adhere to a regular 9 to 5 workday?

Our practice's employees often leave during the day to take care of personal matters, like banking or meeting with children's teachers. Although they claim they make up the lost time by working through lunch, I suspect they're not putting in the 40 hours a week we're paying them for.

Should we be flexible and allow them to come and go as long as the work gets done, or should we insist they adhere to a regular 9 to 5 workday?

Set a policy requiring them to work regular hours. Your current approach can easily lead to abuse. Allow time off from work on a case-by-case basis. However, instead of making up the time during lunch, they'll have to use their paid vacation or personal time.

This answer to our reader's question was provided by: Judy Capko, Capko & Company, Thousand Oaks, CA

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