Fred Flintstone yells "Yabba-dabba-doo!" as he runs out of work for the day, but not before having his stone timecard bitten by a dinosaur as a record of his hours.  Maybe not much has changed about the end-of-work excitment, but we've come a long way with time and attendance records.

Leaving aside cartoon history for the moment, the first actual time clock was invented in 1888 by Willard A. Bundy (so that's where the term comes from!).  Fast forward 130 years and we have Swedish companies implanting chips in the hands of employees which allows them to open doors and operate printers.

Technology such as fingerprint scanners are becoming more popular, though many employers are still relying on the tried and true; write down your finish times and we'll pay you accordingly.  Naturally this is rife with roting and will lead to a fair share of disciplinary action taken against employees for fraudulent time sheets.  However, more concerning is where there are no time or attendance records at all.

Under the Employment Relations Act 200 and Holidays Act 2003 employers must keep wage and time, and holidays and leave records.  An employer who fails to do so is opening themselves up to penalties; This could be up to $50,000 for an individual; or for a company, the greater of $100,000 or three times the amount of the financial gain made, or a Labour Inspector can issue an infringement notice for breach of the record keeping requirements (an infringement offence).  On top of that employees could bring allegations of underpayment.  Recent cases have shown that if an employee keeps even vague records of their work times and the employer has none, the court will accept the employees version of events.

If this isn't enough to scare employers with lax record-keeping, employees are getting savvier with their record keeping all the time (utilizing apps and other methods).  The implications for an industry such as ours, where employees often socialise at their workplace, are obvious.

All we can say is be vigilant employers and we'll have a yabba-dabba-doo time!

(SOURCE: Lene Bertuccio, ClubsNSW HR Services Advisor, ClubLIFE Mar 2018.  Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, www.employment.govt.nz)