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.
Some don’t really know this, but offenses involving serious violations of the rules on attendance are considered grave offenses. It could get an employee suspended for 6 months and 1 day to 1 year for the first offense and could get him/her dismissed 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:
- Any officer or employee who incurs undertime, regardless of the number of minutes/hours, ten times a month for at least two months in a semester shall be liable for Simple Misconduct and/or Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, as the case may be; and
- Any officer or employee who incurs undertime, regardless of the number of minutes/hours, ten times a month for at least two consecutive months during the year shall be liable for Simple Misconduct and/or Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, as the case may be.
Note (02/17/2016) – For teachers who are reading this, please note that you are covered by unique rules on work hours. Kindly refer to them through DEPED’s website to avoid confusion.