Late arrivals


There are many reasons why employees are late. Traffic jams on the road, flight cancellations due to natural disasters, public transport disruptions... Just because the employee is late through no fault of their own does not mean that they will not have to make up for the time lost.

Non-culpable inability to work

If the employee is late due to a reason beyond his or her control, he or she is non-culpably unable to work.

However, the law provides that the employee is only entitled to his or her salary if the inability to work is inherent in the employee. If the delay is due to an objective reason outside the employee's person, the employer is not obliged to pay the salary.

 Road blocked due to a snowstorm? Car won't start because of frost? Blocked borders? Public transport strike? Fall due to ice?

 The distinction between an objective reason external to the employee and an inability to work inherent to the employee is sometimes not easy to make.


If the employee is late due to a cause outside his or her person, the employer may ask him or her to make up the time lost. If they fail to do so, the employer may, under certain conditions, deduct the pay for these hours from their next salary.

Repeated late arrivals

Arriving late for work once because of a traffic jam can happen to anyone. But how do you deal with repeated late arrivals of an employee who struggles to get up in the morning? Such late arrivals can jeopardise the work of the company, especially when the employee works in a team. Warning, ordinary or even immediate dismissal - the measures to be taken will depend on the circumstances.

Employment certificate

The employer is obliged to tell the truth in the employment certificate. He cannot write a falsely complimentary certificate and omit serious incidents for which the employee is responsible. Are late arrivals serious enough for the employer to have to mention them? 

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1 Mar, 2010 byMarianne Favre Moreillon