Late for work


There are many reasons why employees are late. Traffic jams, flight cancellations due to natural disasters, public transportation disruptions... Just because an employee is not at fault for being late does not mean that he or she will not have to make up for lost time.

Inability to work not due to the employee’s fault

When an employee is late due to a reason beyond his or her control, he or she is prevented form working du to circumstances for which he/she is not at fault.

However, the law provides that the employee is only entitled to his or her salary if the incapacity is inherent to his or her person. When the delay is due to an objective reason outside of his person, the employer will not be obliged to pay the salary.

Road blocked due to a snowstorm? Car won't start due to 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 his or her person is sometimes not easy.


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 lost hours. If not, the employer may, under certain conditions, deduct the remuneration for these hours from the employee's next salary.

Repeated late arrivals

Arriving late to work once due to traffic congestion 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 delays can jeopardize the work of the company, especially when the employee works in a team. Warning, ordinary or even immediate termination, the measures to be taken will depend on the circumstances.

Employment certificate

The employer is obliged to tell the truth in the employment certificate. They 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