Habitual late attendance is a serious offence and it often creates issues in the smooth functioning of the business establishment. An employer can dismiss the service of the employee solely on the ground of habitual late attendance provided that such habitual late attendance is proved beyond reasonable doubt, which sometimes becomes difficult to prove.
In a particular situation, an employee was charged with habitual late attendance for six times in a year with three times warning. During the same period, the employee was once suspended too. In spite of such situation, the employee continued with his habitual late attendance and hence was dismissed from his service which was found to be valid by the Hon’ble Court.
However, in order to prove such charge of habitual late attendance, the attendance register should be produced and it should be marked that the employee came late. In absence of such documentary evidence, it is difficult to prove habitual late attendance.
The standing order also plays a vital role in deciding the fate of the employee. If the standing order states that an employee can be dismissed for habitual late attendance but a warning is mandatory before each and every dismissal, then the employee has to be given a warning for habitual late attendance and such employee under the provisions of the standing order cannot be dismissed directly.
In a case of Air India an employee was found guilty of habitual late attendance as he was found late 65 times in eight months. The Hon’ble Bombay High Court has rightly held that the dismissal was justified for such habitual late attendance which was solely due to the fault of the employee.