Table of contents:

Can they be fired for being late
Can they be fired for being late

Yes they can. But only under certain conditions.

Can they be fired for being late
Can they be fired for being late

If the office has strict rules, and the employee's delays in the morning without good reason have become a habit, he may be punished for violation of labor discipline.

1. What is being late

By law, an employee must comply with labor discipline. That is, obey the general rules of conduct for employees and employers.

Including showing up on time at the workplace. The specific framework is regulated by the working hours. This document spells out when to start, when to finish, what time to go to lunch or smoke.

The regime is established by the internal labor regulations, the collective agreement, agreements between the employee and the employer and other legal acts. In some cases, it is recorded in the employment contract.

By being late, the employee disrupts the daily routine and can harm the company. The company is losing money: the employee did not call potential buyers, did not sign contracts with new customers, and so on. True, the management often makes discounts on the fact that the specialist compensates for his delays with productive work.

Otherwise, a violation will be recorded: an act of absence from the workplace will be drawn up, a note will be made in the report card. The employee will be required to explain in writing why this happened. The answer is given two days. The employee needs to write an explanatory note, attaching documents and certificates, if the reason is valid. If not, the employer will determine the penalty. At first, this is usually a remark or a reprimand.

2. When can you be late

The option "traffic jams", "the car broke down", and "slept through" and "the alarm did not work" are not considered respectful. Although there is no clear definition of what circumstances can be called such in the law.

However, there are situations that are considered to be respectful:

  • disease;
  • illness of close relatives;
  • death of a family member;
  • road or utility accident;
  • natural disasters.

A good reason for an employee to be late can be, for example, a utility accident. Simply put, if a pipe burst at the neighbors from above and flooded your apartment. To confirm, you need to get a certificate from the management company or HOA.

It is not a fact that the employer will request it, but it is desirable to have it on hand. This also applies to other reasons: the employer can take the employee's word, but it is better to obtain the necessary documents in advance, since they may be required in case of a dispute.

All situations must be confirmed by documents: an open sick leave, certificates from the hospital, traffic police or from the management company.

Recently, the State Labor Inspectorate also urged employers not to punish employees for being late in bad weather when public transport runs irregularly.

3. What is the risk of being late?

There can be only one punishment for one offense. And it can be applied within a month after a violation is found. This period does not include illness, vacation of the employee and the time during which the trade union will express its opinion about the misconduct. If six months have passed since the discovery of the offense, the culprit can no longer be punished.

When the employer detects a delay, he decides what to do. Dismissal is a last resort. In addition to it, there are several other not very pleasant options.


The mildest punishment. It is usually used if the offense is minor or the employee committed it for the first time. The employer issues an order for announcing a comment, which is valid for a year. During this time, the employee is under close supervision. If he deserves a bonus, then its amount may be reduced or not paid at all. Perhaps the remark will be entered into a personal file. All these conditions are at the discretion of the employer.

A comment can be removed ahead of schedule, if the manager wants it, asks a higher boss, a trade union or the guilty employee in writing.


As a rule, this is a punishment for misdemeanors of moderate severity. For example, for being late again. The chief issues a reprimand order. It can be withdrawn ahead of schedule in the same way. There are no severe reprimands or reprimands with entry into a personal file. The Labor Code has one clear wording on this matter. If the employer announced something different, this is a non-existent penalty, for which the boss himself will be responsible.

There is no strict sequence - first there is a remark, and then a reprimand - in the legislation there is no. It all depends on the specific violation.

The Labor Code of the Russian Federation stipulates general disciplinary responsibility. But for some professions there is also a special one. It is possible to involve civil servants, railway workers, seafarers and some other categories of workers. Penalties for violations are enshrined in organizational charters and discipline regulations.

4. When they can be fired for being late

There are two concepts - absenteeism and lateness. If the delay is less than four hours, then it is late. More - absenteeism. According to article 81 of the Labor Code, the employer can fire for a single absenteeism.

Therefore, it is better to be three hours late once than 15 minutes late three times. After all, dismissal also threatens in the case when the employee has repeatedly violated discipline. That is, when he already has a valid reprimand or remark. They can be applied for any offense, not just for late appearance at the workplace.


Irina Smolkina Head of the personnel department of the federal network "Radiotekhnika".

This can happen according to the following scenario: at the first delay, the administration announces a remark. The company issues an order, which the employee must familiarize himself with.

If such a remark did not have an effect, and the employee is late for the second time, he is reprimanded, about which the order is issued again. The third delay becomes the last. An employee can be fired.

First, a dismissal order is formed. The document is given to the employee who must sign it. In the same way, a copy of the order is transmitted. An entry is made in the work book that the employee is dismissed under the relevant article.


Konstantin Bobrov Director of the Legal Service "United Center for Defense".

You can challenge the dismissal in the district court by filing a claim for reinstatement at work. You can submit it within a month from the date of delivery of a copy of the order of dismissal. Or within a month from the date of receipt of the work book.


Zinaida Benku Director of Legal Affairs of the Aeroclub business tourism agency.

The grounds for challenging the dismissal order may be the fact that the employer did not take into account the gravity of the offense and the circumstances under which it was committed. That is, the manager did not understand the reasons for the delay. In such situations, courts tend to take the side of workers more often.

If the employee provided an explanation that the delay was due to valid reasons, and the violation was not systematic and was not long-term, the court will definitely take the employee's side.


If the company strictly adheres to the working hours, then it is better not to be late without a good reason. In the case when this cannot be avoided, it is worth warning the manager. And then provide proof that you didn't show up at work on time for a reason.

A late employee may be fired if he already has more than one reprimand or reprimand. However, if you think the employer has acted unfairly, contact your local labor dispute committee. Or sue.