The importance of clocking in and out at work

Importance of clocking in and out at work

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For many businesses across industries, it has become essential to have a clocking-in system for employees. This system makes it easy for employers to ensure that their employees are working the correct hours and that these hours are in line with labour law regulations and compliance. Clocking in and out of work systems also assists in ensuring the accuracy of payroll systems and employee productivity. We deep-dive into the importance of clocking in and out at work and how these systems enhance business operations and procedures.

Importance of clocking in and out at work

What is a clocking-in system? 

To better understand the value of clocking in and out, it is essential to understand what these systems do. A clocking-in system is a software solution that essentially tracks employees’ daily work hours. These systems are also often referred to as time and attendance systems and are included as part of a workforce management solution.

This kind of system is critical for keeping track of employees and their working hours and avoiding payroll errors. This is achieved by employees clocking into the system at the beginning of work or shift and then clocking out when they leave.

Clocking-in systems also save operations managers time. The process of tracking employee time and attendance can be complex and time-consuming, especially when you have employees who are off sick, on holiday, who have switched shifts etc. A clocking-in system simplifies this process and puts the responsibility in the hands of employees.

These systems are also critical to help your business stay on top of overtime, identify employee absenteeism or lateness and ensure regulatory compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).

The BCEA outlines several regulations related to working hours and overtime. An example of this is that employees earning less than the determined threshold are only allowed to work a maximum of 45 hours weekly. This works out to 9 hours per day, excluding their lunch break, if an employee works five days a week or 8 hours a day, excluding lunch breaks, if the employee works more than five days a week. It also states that all hours worked more than the employee’s regular hours of work will be regarded as overtime hours. Therefore, if your employee is contracted to work 45 hours per week at regular time, then any hours over that is overtime worked. The employee will then need to be paid overtime for these hours.

A clocking-in system will enable a business to track all these elements to ensure that their employees are working the correct hours and being paid the right amounts per the conditions laid out in the BCEA.

The benefits of using a clocking-in system 

the importance of clocking in and out at work

From the above, it is clear that clocking-in systems play an important role in businesses, but they also have several different time and attendance benefits. These include:

  • Set reminders and alerts are sent to employees to ensure they clock in and out, improving payroll accuracy and general productivity.
  • Gaining insight into who is clocked in at all times to track and manage operations and jobs.
  • Monitor late employees and absenteeism, which can negatively impact a business.
  • Efficiently access information related to hours worked and overall employee productivity across locations and job sites.

Other reasons why employees should be using a clock in and out system include:

  • Ensure that employees are working the correct hours – this system will provide the business with valuable insights into if certain employees are consistently late. Losing a few minutes of working time over a long period can significantly impact a business. A clock-in system is an efficient way to check if employees are working the correct hours.
  • Monitoring breaks – it is a legal requirement under the BCEA that employees are given breaks throughout their working day, which includes tea and lunch breaks. This kind of system will show if employees are taking these breaks or not. Employers can then monitor this and remind their employees to take their required breaks.
  • Preventing employee burnout – a clocking system will provide an employer with an insight into the hours employees are working and will highlight if any employees are consistently working additional hours. The employer can then address this and see if there are ways to assist the employee. This will also help the employee in reducing unnecessary overtime pay.
  • Creating a work environment built on trust – by using a clocking-in system, you are putting more responsibility into the hands of your employees and ensuring them that you trust them to utilise the system and track their hours.
  • Recusing time spent on tracking and calculating time – tracking if an employee is late, absent etc., is often a complex process that can take a lot of time, especially if done manually. A clocking-in system reduces this administrative burden as it automatically records these elements and shares the information with payroll to ensure that employees are paid for the hours and time they work.
Importance of clocking in and out at work

Who should make use of clocking-in systems?

From the above, it is clear that clocking-in systems have many benefits for businesses, especially those in the service industry that rely on shift work. This includes the likes of security companies, cleaning companies, and labour brokers. Managing shift work, especially across various locations, is a complex task.

The right clocking-in system will make capturing actual attendance details much more manageable and can often be done manually and automatically. If attendance is captured with the clocking-in system and this information is captured as soon as possible after an employee has clocked the in, the operations manager will be able to pull reports and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that all job sites are covered, that working hours are in line with BCEA compliance and that wage costs and overtime are kept to a minimum.


Employees clocking in and out of work continues to be essential for businesses. This process ensures that companies can track employee working hours, ensure payroll is correct, identify if there are any problems related to consistent overtime or absenteeism and more. By having insight into all these elements, you can reduce labour costs and unnecessary overtime while ensuring compliance with the BCEA regulations, enhancing business operations and overall success.

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