Punctuality to Work

Let this be a warning to you

With the recent swine flu scare now all but a distant memory, Farmer Freddy has a new problem on his hands (and for once it has nothing to do with his beloved children!).

It involves his farm hand Barney, and his increasing tendency to arrive late to work.

To be fair, Barney has never been an early riser. As a city dweller-cum-farmer, he has always struggled with the 4am starts. To make matters worse, Barney has recently enrolled in a Thai cooking evening class, and since doing so, his punctuality has slipped.  Yesterday, Barney slept in until 6am, which meant that Farmer Freddy had to round up all the cows and start milking by himself. Farmer Freddy has had enough, especially since he specifically explained to Barney the importance of punctuality during his induction.

After mulling it over, Farmer Freddy decides that the problem is serious enough to warrant further disciplinary action, such as giving Barney a first warning. Farmer Freddy has had to deal with disciplinary problems in the past and knows the best process to follow.

He arranges a meeting with Barney.  "We need to discuss a disciplinary issue that relates to your punctuality. Here is a letter inviting you to come along to a disciplinary meeting next week to discuss this further. You can bring someone along to support you during the meeting if you'd like," he explains.

At the disciplinary meeting, Barney admits that his lateness is unacceptable. He tells Farmer Freddy about his Thai cooking course. Farmer Freddy listens to his explanation and then adjourns the meeting.

After thinking things over, he returns and tells Barney he will issue him with a verbal warning for breaching the terms of his employment agreement.

Barney is pretty upset when he gets the warning as he's heard through the grapevine that it's three strikes and you're out with things like this.

Farmer Freddy explains, however, that he doesn't see it that way.

The warning is a chance for Barney to pull his socks up. It is just a verbal warning and won't be a black mark against him forever. Farmer Freddy makes a written note of the warning and puts in on Barney's file. Keeping a record of the warning is important in case there are problems with Barney's punctuality further down the track.

If his lateness continues, then his employment agreement states that Barney would need to be given a second warning (this time in writing), followed by a third and final warning, before Farmer Freddy could consider dismissal.

Farmer Freddy is relieved that he followed such a transparent process and made it clear that lateness is unacceptable. Barney feels better after Farmer Freddy's explanation that he has a chance to improve his behaviour.

Barney does not want to let Farmer Freddy down again.

He takes the initiative to enrol in a cooking course that takes place on his day off, rather than in the evening.

He is committed to turning up on time, now that he has been warned.


The content of this document is necessarily general and readers should seek specific advice on particular matters and not rely solely on this document.
If you would like further information on any of the topics in this document, please contact your usual Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen adviser.
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