Government employees are required to render 40 hours of service every week, or 8 hours daily from Mondays through Fridays. Heads of agencies are mandated to ensure a system that will monitor attendance. The agency could use a Daily Time Record (DTR) via bundy clock, a Biometric Machine, or an Attendance Logbook if the two other options are not available. Since the public requires the delivery of efficient and prompt service, a civil servant is expected to be available and be at his/her workstation during the regular office hours – that is, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM except in case of a flexible work schedule.
Regularity in attendance is very important in the government. In fact, offenses involving violations of the rules on attendance are considered grave offenses that merit suspension of 6 months and 1 day to 1 year for the first offense and dismissal on the second. These offenses are:
1. Habitual absenteeism – this happens when the employee incurs unauthorized (read: no approved/official leave) absences for more than 2.5 days for at least 3 months in a single semester, or for 3 consecutive months in a year;
2. Habitual Tardiness – this happens when the employee is tardy for at least 10 times in a month for 2 months in a single semester; or 10 times in a month for two consecutive months in a single year. Take note that, technically, 8:01 AM is already considered tardy. The 15-minute “grace-period” known and commonly practiced among government offices has no basis in law or CSC regulation. To be sure, forget about the so-called “grace period” in determining whether you’re tardy during a particular date or not; and
3. Loafing – an employee is guilty of loafing if he/she incurs frequent unauthorized absences from duty during office hours. A simple (yet very real) example of this is when a government employee does personal shopping at a mall during office hours.
Now, what if you were only absent for half day? CSC Memorandum Circular No. 17, s. 2010 (Policy on Half-day Absence) explains that a morning absence is considered tardy while an absence in the afternoon is considered as an undertime . Remember the following rules on undertime indicated under CSC MC No. 16, s. 2010:
Piece of advice before I end, if you can’t help being late, absent, or going home earlier than you should, then don’t forget your Math.