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Habitual Absenteeism, Tardiness, and Undertime

Regularity in attendance is very important in the government. Yet, problems in ATU (absenteeism tardiness undertime) plague offices all the time.

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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. 

85 thoughts on “Habitual Absenteeism, Tardiness, and Undertime

  1. Do the authorized personnel can deduct from the salary of the employees if tardiness or undertime happens? How to compute the said deduction? Thank u and God bless

      1. is there any guidelines on how to deduct the tardiness or late of an employee? like for example, a late of 5 mins. is equivalent to how many hours of deductions from the employee concerned?

    1. Yes, the computation will be based on your daily rate divided by the number of hours and minutes of your tardiness or undertime. Your service credits cannot be applied to offset your tardiness and undertime.

  2. Is deduction of salary of a teacher due to tardiness/undertime and imposition of administrative sanction to the same teacher be considered double jeopardy and is therefore illegal?

    1. Deduction in salary happens only if there are no more leave credits available. Note that teachers don’t earn leave credits, service credits yes. They are covered by different rules. And yes, a teacher may be charged administratively and be deducted salaries at the same time. The principle of double jeopardy will not apply.

  3. Hello, could you please give an example / illustration about “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.”

    Thank you.

  4. Hello, could you please explain further this:

    “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.”

    Thank you!

    1. 10 tardiness in January 2015
      10 tardiness in June 2015
      = 10x in a month for 2 months in a single semester

      10 tardiness in June 2015
      10 tardiness in July 2015

      =10x in a month for 2 consecutive months in a single year

        1. There’s always some room for tardiness Johanna. There are times when you can’t help it specially if there’s an emergency that you have to attend to. That number is the limit given under the CSC rules. But note that you cannot make it a habit because once your agency sees that you’ve developed a pattern to evade the rules, you may still be charged with habitual tardiness.

          1. sir regarding with your comment sa habit ng employee na my pattern na yung tardiness and absences pero hindi na violate yung rules kasi she knows how to evade it. pano po cya ma charged with habitual tardiness/absenteeism? i have records na ginagawa na nya ito since 2007 pa.

          2. You may talk the matter over with your agency head and see if you can indeed establish a pattern from the employee’s records.


    1. First of all, a local civil registrar must be a resident of the place. Apparently, something is very wrong with her practice but it is encouraged by her municipal mayor. She can keep doing that for as long as:
      1) her conscience can take;
      2) her mayor allows her; or
      3) no one is brave enough to report and complain.

  6. gud am po mam , ang problema ko po kung umaabsent ako ng two time or three sa isang buwan po dahil sa migraine ko tuwing buwanan dalaw ko po, pwede din po ba akong bigyan ng memorandum na lumabag po ako sa civil service rules regarding absent ko na ganun po ang nararamdaman ko every month ng dalaw ko. at lalo na po kasabay na nakakastress ang work ang palce of environment mo sa opis dahil iba ang ugali ng boss mo po at wala po ba kaming karapatan na tumanggi sa work na hindi nmn po nmn dapat namin gawin, pati po ba yun magagawan ba ako ng memo na paglabag daw po yun sa cevil service ruling. Please help po thanks po

    1. Kung may leave credits ka naman na pwede gamitin at inapprove ang leave mo, hindi masasabi na paglabag sa CS rules ang pag absent mo. Magiging paglabag lamang kung umabsent ka ng walang approved leave application for more than 2.5 days for at least 3 months in a single semester, or for 3 consecutive months in a year.

  7. What if your head/direct supervisor does not give you or requires you to perform 48 hours a week and if you fail to do so you are required to explain in writing? Does CS rules has any say say on this regarding the 40 hour rendering of service?

  8. How do you compute deductions incurred because of tardiness? For example…a teacher has recorded a total of 200 hours tardy in a month…how is that computed? Anybody?

    1. 200 hours tardy in a month? How is that possible? Tardiness exceeds the required number of working hours in a month? Also please note that teachers dont earn leave credits as they are covered by different rules.

      1. pano po ba pagcompute ng deduction sa leave because of tardiness? example po late ka ng isang minuto db po bawas un sa leave? ano po ba ang tamang formula nyan para mabawas sa leave? tnx po

        1. Ang pagcompute ang late ay total ng lahat ng late/undertime then divide sa 8 hours dun mo masusukat kung ilang araw ang ibabawas mo sa leave credits nya o di kaya sa salary nya..

  9. Good evening po… kung nakakuha po ng 10 absences in one year ano po ang magiging sanctions??? pwede po ba matanggal sa trabaho kaagad??? Kapag nagfile ng form 6 consider di n ba sya as habitual absenteeism??

    1. Hi Bella, the sanctions are stated in the article. Habitual absenteeism refers only to absences with no official/approved leave.

  10. what should the newly designated HR do about the lapses of the previous HR who failed to notify or give sanctions to those who have been habitually tardy for almost a year?

    1. From what I know, it is standard HR practice to prepare a monthly report of employees’ attendance which is shown to the agency head. With the HR recommendation or upon the agency head’s decision, an admin case may be commenced against those seen to be habitually tardy. Administrative cases do not prescribe, meaning it may still be filed at anytime for as long as the erring employee is not yet retired or separated from the service.

      1. Good day po!

        First thing, your blog is helpful thanks for creating this!

        My query is similar to HR’s query since there are at least ten personnel in our office who incurred habitual tardiness.To be specific, this is regarding the issuance of memorandum for those who incurred tardiness. Our HR “forgot” to issue memorandum for habitual tardiness for the period January to June 2015. So, two memoranda were issued for tardiness incurred during January to June 2015 and July to December 2015 periods. On the process, there is one employee who got two memorandum with same penalty of Reprimand. Is this correct? Thank you!

  11. Can a government employee who has been cleared*from his/her previous agency then transfer to another govt agency, and later on (months after issuance of clearance) charged with administrative case, be held liable?

    *Cleared – a certificate of clearance had already been issued. All units of the organization including the Corporate Governance, had cleared the said employee.
    thank you for you response.

    1. pano po ba pagcompute ng deduction sa leave because of tardiness? example po late ka ng isang minuto db po bawas un sa leave? ano po ba ang tamang formula nyan para mabawas sa leave? tnx po

    2. Yes, especially if the acts constituting the offense were not yet discovered at the time of the issuance of the clearance.

      1. The offense was regarding habitual tardiness. Prior to transfer, a show-cause order was received by the employee on which he responded within the time frame required. However, months had passed there is no reply from the disciplining authority up to until the filing of request of transferand upon issuance

      1. mam, sa office po kc namin, pag late ka ng less than 1 hour is tardy, pero pag late ka ng 1 hour or more is undertime. what can you say about this

        1. ang problem ko po kc is marami akong natanggap na disciplinary actions sabay sabay which is from July 2015 to June 2016 which pina received po nila ng October 2016. Bale for dismissal na po kc ang diciplinary action ko. I have served the company for 19 years po. Please advise po kng ano ang pwede kong gawin. Thanks po and more power

  12. Good day po, puwede po bang ideduct ang undertime and accumulated tardiness sa salary kahit ilang minutes o hours ito lalo wala na pong service credits na pang offset sa mga ito?

  13. Meron pong existing deped order na ngsasabing kapag naka anim na oras na ang guro sa knilang dtr d sya pwede iconsider na undertime at bwasan ng sahod. Teachers are under special laws.

    1. Yes. Pls read previous comments. I stated that teachers are not covered by rules on leave credits because they don’t earn LC.

        1. Welcome. I added a note for teachers in this post and the one about earning leave credits so that other teachers will not be confused. Apart from DEPED’s website, maybe you can recommend some other forum/site/blog dealing only with rules about teachers in the govt service.

          1. Kami po ay kinakaltasan ng sahod contrary to deped order 16 2009 2.c, pwd po b namin itong bwiin kapag npatunayang illegal ang pagkaltas nila?

  14. Maiba lng po ako. San po ba pwd magtanung about sa COA report? Let say ang school namin hindi nag forward ng disburstment voucher sa COA let say year 2015 hindi pa submitted til now. possible po ba xa? thank you!

    1. You can ask your school’s COA officer or your region’s COA office. Write to them and inquire. I’m sure they will answer your query.

  15. Gud eve po..madam ung case ko po ang natitira na lng sa net pay ko is 3k..i have incurred absences due to my illness..we already talk on how to deduct in my abseñces..(autonomus school po km).monthly dededuct po nla 1,500 ..kya 3k n lng po ung net pay ko..ngyon po knausap n nmn po ako na dadagdagn ang kltas ko sa absnt ay 3k na nga lng pi ang tira as per deped ordr dn nmn n rules na un ang dapt mtira sa ñetpay..matagal p nmn po ako sa serbisyo para madeduct ung absences ko..tanong ko po KAILANGAN PO BA TLG NA PWERSADO AT KAILNGN UNAHIN UNG KLTAS SA ABSENCES ay wala na nga maidadagdag p na kakaltasin? Samantlng may agreemnt na 1,500 ang kkltasin monthly hanggang sa matapos ang byarin sa absences?

    1. maria cel, sorry pero di ako nagbibigay ng legal advice sa mga personal at specific na isyu. pakibasa ang DISCLAIMER ng aking blog. pwede ka magsulat sa pinakamalapit na DEPED or CSC office sa lugar ninyo para matulungan ka sayong problema.

  16. how about if the Superior allows the employee to have undertime twice a week for he has another job. If the undertime is deducted from his/her salary, will he/she still be liable for habitual undertime?

  17. Gud pm po.panu po kung every month my teacher na dimarating un asawa hatid sundo..minsan more than 2 days wala every month yan mula pa nung mag abroad asawa..walan sya service credit..lagi pinapayagan ng head kadikit nya kasi..d po ba makakasuhan ng habitual absentism un ganun..minsan mamamasyal lng aabsent pa.umuubra..

  18. Gud eve Po. Mam ang bookkeeper Po namin ay always late 9:30 na dumating at lagi past 10am na pumasok. Ang reason Po nya flixeble time daw Po. Tama Po ba sya? Di ba Po if flexible time dapat kung pumasok sya ng 10 am lalabas sya ng skul 7pm na. Di naman Po yun nangyayari.

  19. Good morning,in our school there are teachers who incurred absences more than 3 absences a month And come to school always late, past 8 worse 8:30am and cannot attend their first period class.They’re reason is that they are deducted in their salary at the end of the month,so its not a big deal to be absent.It is done for the past 2 years up to the present. What actions could be taken? since students are affected because of this? Thank you so much!

  20. what if the principal allows teachers to leave the school (high school)earlier than their official time because they have another teaching job in a state university, are those teachers still be liable for habitual undertime? is the principal also liable for this?

  21. Gud pm mam nakarecieve po aq ngvmemo from the regional dir the subject is Reminder of Tardiness nagulat po aq kc 3 lang po ito isang halfday and 2 undertimes den i ask them to look at my previous months at dinala q din ung present time card ko kung me mkkta ba cla na undertme q or im in the habit of doing so, kc po tlagang i hate going late in the ofce kung mg halfday man aq or undertime or absnt energency case lang tlga so shock po tlga q nung narecieve q un memo then ccbhn nla na ngkmali lang daw cla eh copy furnish po ang legal dept and it was also filed on my records but they said they will withdraw it is there anything i can do or file a formal complain bec there is negligence on their part. I knew the cs rules and i know i have the rght to charge them kc kung me sakit aq sa puso dahil na highblood po tlga q ng mbsa ko bka inatake pa ako i want them to teach them a lesson. Kindly help me. Thanks po and more power God bless

  22. Hi, i have an employee under my agency a district hspital po, she is working as pharmacist, her duty is supposedly 8am-5pm but she always came late at 9am everyday so i put her on a shifting basis with her aides on 3pm-11pn shift but still keep on exchanging schedules with her aides, pumapasok sya on her confortable time and ive been considering her for a year na, now im fed up and im writing a report of her severe habitual tardiness and unexplained absences. Di ko po pinipirmahan mga sick leave nya unless may totoong proof na nagkasakit sya. marami nang nakapansin sa abuso nya. Am i on the right track? what cud be the possible sanction for her based sa csc rules?

  23. Gud pm po..just want to ask lang po, for instance, pumasok ung employee at 8:05 AM at nag.out po sya at 12:05 Noon, using biometric, is she/he considered tardy?! tanx in advance..

  24. how about if I have an employee who’s being absent almost twice or thrice a week and after she came back. he has a valid medical certificate from the doctor? and its really every week!

  25. Good day we just received a memo stated that all employees are given 30 minutes grace period from the official start of working hours which is 8:00 o clock in the morning and 1:00 o clock invthe afternoon. Employees who will come after asthe said grace period shall be considred absent the whole morning or afternoon. Guide us regarding this matter. Thank you!!!

    1. The grace-period rule has no basis. Personally, I think it can be likened to stealing money from the government since an employee is allowed to be at work for only 7.5 hours but paid for a full 8 hrs. Likewise, for an employee to be considered late the entire morning/afternoon if he/she arrives beyond the fixed grace-period is violative of the employee’s rights. Tardiness for 30 minutes should not be equated to 4 hours absence.

  26. Ask ko lg po, wala na akong leave credits, tapos for almost 8mos hindi ako na swelduhan kasi wala na daw akong leave credits, peromay attendance po ako for the past 8mos na hindi ako na swelduhan. Pwede ko po ba ma claim ang sweldo ko?

  27. ask q lang po, isa po aqng teacher na may official time na 12:40pm to 7:05pm. dumating po aq ng 4:33pm. ano po ang situation q nito ito po ba i late or absent?

  28. Hello po, Last August 31, I received a “verbal warning” with regards to my tardiness. Tapos ngayon October 21, May tardiness po uli ako. 1 whole month akong walang tardiness, verbal warning po ba ulit iyon or written warning na or 2nd offense kahit di naman sa continouos? Thanks po sana may makatulong

  29. Good day po….
    Government Employee po ako, I have querries :
    1. Regarding One half day absent: Sinabihan kami sa office na kun mag half day absent, kailangan daw mag file ng sick leave at may medical cert na e submit, TAMA ho ba ito?… may legal basis po ba ito?
    2. Regarding TARDINESS/LATE: may sinasabi boss ko may may certain fraction or percentage daw sa minutes/oras ang allowable sa late/tardy (di nya sinabi kun ilan) pag aabot daw sa ganoong percentage or fraction ang late/tardy eh considered na daw ng absent ako sa buong araw?… anu sa tingin mo sir, nagsasabi ba ng totoo ang bosss ko or bina blaugh nya lang ako: example late ako ng 2-3 hours in the morning, ma consider na daw yung na absent ako sa buong araw, kun magkaganun eh di nalang ako papasok sa office… please let me know kun may legal basis ba ang sinabi ng boss ko…

  30. Maam, ask lng po sa airport operations kmi internal understanding namin do render duty 16 and 8 hours magkasunod kung titingnan 24 hrs sya but it falls on a 2 day scenario kasi evening and midnight sa araw nato then kinabukasan day duty it goes like these evening is 1m-9pm, midnight is 9m-5am, day is 5m-1pm. Now ang tanong if late sya 6 consecutive duties given in a month 7-8 times lng yung balik namin kasi sa bawat duty 16,8 hrs as 3 shift duty ilan ang equivalent tardiness ng kasama namin sa 6 times na pslaging late sya? By principle it seems na pwedeng e count yan as 3 x 6 times of tardiness in a month

  31. Hi Ms. Gelene.,

    Our office adopts the flexitime system… with 30 minutes allowance for both reporting and checking out times. An employee can choose his official time, e.g., 9:30 am ato 6: 30 pm. For this schedule, an employee can come to office up to 10:00 am. He should check out at 7:00 pm to complete the required working hours.

    in our guidelines, an employee is considered tardy if he/she comes after the allowable 30 minute grace period. In the above example, tardiness starts at 10:01 am. Undertime is not defined in that guidelines.

    We noticed that our time record would indicate both tardy and undertime on a single day when we are late and if we opt to check out at exactly our official check out time. To illustrate, if the employee comes at 10:15 am, he is late for 15 minutes and if he checks out at his official check out time of 6:30 pm, he is again undertime for 30 minutes. Shouldn’t the employee just be penalized for tardiness for 45 minutes instead of being charged for both tardiness and undertime at the same time considering he is within his official working hours when he checked out?

    Please enlighten us. Thank you.

  32. Mam hindi po ba illegal pagkaltas sa sahod ng tig 500 sa tuwing mag aabsent? aaminin ko po minsan hindi ako nakakpag paalam pero minsan babayaran ko ung absent ko ng day off. pero ganun pa rin po kinakaltasan pa rin po ako ng 500 ngaun po may pinapirma po sila sa akin ng 6k dahil dw po sa mga absent ko sa loob ng 8 months. anu po gagawin ko dahil madalas po ako nagkakasakit dahil na rin po sa bigat ng trabaho ko sa isang supermarket. ako po ay merchandiser.

  33. Gup pm maaam. I just want to ask regarding the leave credits and service credits. I understand that teachers dont have leave credits but they can earn service credits. If teachers are absent for a number of days even with out application for leave, their absences will be offset from their acquired service credits, is this right action done by a superior? Does the school head can disapproved the leave application of the teachers when they submit it after their absences? Are their absences can be offset from their earned service credits if they are absent for 10 days in a month?

  34. Maam, presuming a teacher has 200 service credits and he made 15 days accumulated absences in a month. Is the rule on 2.5 days credible leave credits applicable for him and the rest will be salary deductions though he has that number of service credits? Thanks

      1. It is clear in Article 113 of the Labor Code that no employer, in his own behalf or in behalf of any person, shall make any deduction from the wages of his employees, except in cases where the employer is authorized by law or regulations issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, among others. The Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code, meanwhile, provides that deductions from the wages of the employees may be made by the employer when such deductions are authorized by law, or when the deductions are with the written authorization of the employees for payment to a third person. Thus, any withholding of an employee’s wages by an employer may only be allowed in the form of wage deductions under the circumstances provided in Article 113 of the Labor Code, as well as the Omnibus Rules implementing it. Further, Article 116 of the Labor Code clearly provides that it is unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to withhold any amount from the wages of a worker without the worker’s consent.

  35. Good day!
    may query lang po ako…i am the head of office of a certain department in an LGU.i have a staff, casual in position, na hindi na po nag duduty.from January to March this year..our HR and me sent appropriate letters but he did not attend to those warnings..advice po ng HR namin I will be the one to serve his suspension order at noted lang po si mayor??tama po ba ito?

  36. Ma’am I have made a written request to my supervisor and department manager to allow me to take a leave of absence for two months because I don’t have a nanny to take care of my two year old daughter since her nanny went on vacation to another province. I submitted my request 10 days prior to my scheduled leave. Unfortunately, they did not approve my request due to exigency of work according to them. Although I have given them a verbal assurance that I will finish my assigned tasks on time. In fact, I am bringing some of my work at home. But since I really don’t have anyone to take care of my daughter, I am forced to incur absences. I still have enough leave credits though. My concern is, will my absences be a ground for sanction or disciplinary action? Considering that they did not approve my request for a two months leave and I keep on incurring absences also? I hope you could clarify me on this. Thank you in advance and God bless.

  37. ilang araw po ang maximum ng HR sa pagbibigay ng memo ukol sa tardiness. Nakareceive po ako ng memo ng july 20 pero ung tardy ko nung mayo pa. ok pa po ba yun?

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