As much as many employers hate to admit it, some employees will clock in when they aren’t present. “Buddy punching” or allowing a fellow employee to clock in for an absent employee, happens in more companies than people realize. The American Payroll Association estimates that 75 percent of companies are subject to buddy punching. In another study, Nucleus Research estimates that 19 percent of employees admit to buddy punching at one time or another.
Biometric Clock – Employee Time Clocks
The loss of time involved and paying for unearned work time, can add up to more than 2% of a company’s payroll. For a company on a low profit margin and a high payroll, buddy punching can do real damage to the bottom line.
Buddy punching is easily accomplished if a company uses and old fashioned paper punch card, ID badge or even an electronic key fob. All the employee needs to do is hand their time card or fob to a fellow employee and ask for their friend to “punch them in” If the company doesn’t have a person from human resources or management watching the time clock, abuse of buddy punching can occur.
Technology has now made it possible to reduce or eliminate the incidents of time clock abuse and save companies money from lost time and unearned wages. Biometric clocks are time clocks with a computerized signature of the employee’s facial features or fingerprints.
With a fingerprint biometric time clock, the employees fingerprint is scanned and compared to fingerprints on file inside the clock. Better quality biometric clocks, such as those offered by Allied Time, can compensate for finger cuts, grease, grime and other anomalies that might be expected to create an inaccurate scan. Fingerprint scans on Time Clocks will normally only take a few seconds.
Facial feature clocks take a photo of the employee with a camera embedded in the clock. The program will then scan several dozen facial features and compare them to the employee’s photo on file in the program. Like fingerprint biometric clocks, the scan normally takes only a few seconds.
Setting up biometric clocks is usually no more difficult to set up than a key fob and if additional software is needed, it is supplied by the company. Though the technology sounds expensive, many quality biometric clocks can be purchased for less than $300. If the employer is experiencing employee abuse through buddy punching, the cost can be recouped in as little as one month.