Reprimand an Employee For Poor Attendance or Tardiness • Example Letters, Guides and Samples


Although the behavior is disturbing, remain calm and courteous but be direct and concise. Avoid comments that refer to the employee's character. Stick to the main issue. Also see "Document employee reprimands."

How to write this reprimand letter:

  1. Tell the employee why you are giving the reprimand. Include any necessary facts as evidence.
  2. Inform the employee of any future punitive action or what he or she can do to rectify the situation.
  3. Close with an expression of confidence that the employee will correct the problem.

Example Letter #1


I regret to inform you that you must either be on time to the daily sales meetings or begin looking for a new job. My records show that you have been late to the last ten meetings by an average of 20 minutes. Such attendance is disruptive and discourteous. The meetings begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. I suggest you arrive at 8:25, so there will be no question about your punctuality.

I am confident you can adjust you schedule to be on time. If you have any reason for not being able to meet this schedule, let me know at once.

Example Letter #2


Because you have been late for work four times this week, I must warn you that I have noticed the behavior and expect it to stop. It is important that you arrive on time to count your till and straighten the merchandise before the doors open at 10:00 a.m.

Please organize your morning routine so you can arrive five minutes before your scheduled shift. When you arrive, check in with me at my office. I am sure you will be able to rectify this problem with a little more effort.

Example Letter #3


It has come to my attention that you have been late arriving on the job site three of the five days last week, and that this has been your habit over the last month. The homeowner, Mrs. Walfield expressed concern over this to me this morning. This tardiness affects Springfield Construction's relationship with our clients just as much as it does our relationship with our carpenters. Any further customer complaints of tardiness may result in your dismissal. I am confident that this reprimand will be the end of the problem.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1 Tell the employee why you are giving the reprimand. Include any necessary facts as evidence.

Sample Sentences for Step 1
  • We were upset that you were twenty minutes late to the board meeting. Some of us had to cancel other meetings to be there on time. As a result of your tardiness, we didn't have enough time to finish the business.
  • Out of the last 45 work days, you have spent 11 somewhere other than at work. According to our records, you called in sick on May 8, 9, 10, 12 and June 26, 27, 28, in addition to taking four vacation days during the first week of May. We are concerned about the frequency of your absences.
  • At 2:30 p.m. yesterday, you were scheduled to help at the new product demonstration. When you were not there on time, the demonstration team called your secretary and learned that you were "out." Your secretary did not know where you were.
  • In the last two weeks you have been at least fifteen minutes late to work no less than six times. I understand the difficulties involved with your commute, but we cannot tolerate this amount of tardiness.
  • During the last two months it seems you have not been interested in attending our weekly production meetings. It is very difficult for us to keep things running smoothly without such weekly coordination.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
  • called in sick on
  • cannot tolerate your
  • displays a lack of interest in
  • frequency of your absences
  • had to wait for you
  • have fixed office hours
  • have received several complaints about
  • is totally unacceptable
  • is unprofessional in the extreme
  • is damaging to our company's reputation
  • is insulting to both coworkers and customers
  • is very annoying to have to
  • lack of consideration for the others involved in
  • necessary for coordinated planning
  • need to attend prescribed meetings
  • situation is untenable
  • students are entitled to the full hour
  • this persistent tardiness is
  • this unreliability is
  • wasted everybody's time
  • were most upset about
  • your chronic tardiness
  • your failure to show up
  • your failure to attend

2 Inform the employee of any future punitive action or what he or she can do to rectify the situation.

Sample Sentences for Step 2
  • Please make an appointment with me to discuss the situation.
  • If you have a problem with the meeting time and format, please get in touch with me so I can make necessary adjustments. Otherwise I expect to see you at the next team meeting on time.
  • We ask that for the remainder of the year you have your doctor verify any sickness that causes you to stay away from work for more than a day.
    I expect you to attend the next training session and get in touch with the Training Office to see if there is anything you can do to make up the session you missed yesterday.
  • We ask that you show the courtesy of notifying us immediately if you are going to be late so we can make necessary adjustments to the agenda.
  • Please adjust your schedule so that you can get to work on time. May I suggest joining a car pool so you do not have to make the drive by yourself everyday?
Sample Phrases for Step 2
  • adjust your schedule so that
  • ask for your cooperation
  • can have far-reaching consequences, so please
  • correct the situation immediately
  • expect you to attend
  • failure to correct this may lead to
  • get in touch with
  • if we need to make adjustments
  • in the future kindly
  • make a satisfactory arrangement
  • make other arrangements
  • meet with me on
  • must request that you
  • need a doctor's certificate
  • notify us immediately if
  • please make an effort to
  • please make an appointment with
  • request that in the future you
  • show us the courtesy of
  • to discuss the situation
  • will expect to see you at
  • will require you to

3 Close with an expression of confidence that the employee will correct the problem.

Sample Sentences for Step 3
  • If you have any questions, please call me so I can answer them for you.
  • Call me immediately if you cannot immediately resolve this problem.
  • We trust that you will cooperate with this arrangement.
  • If you have any questions, please direct them to Jane Doe.
  • I do hope that this letter will insure the end of this situation.
  • We will appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
  • abide by the terms of
  • appreciate your cooperation in
  • are confident that
  • are sure that we can work this out
  • ask for your cooperation in
  • can correct this problem
  • can make a positive contribution to
  • have every confidence in your
  • have no doubt that
  • if you have any questions
  • need you to resolve the problem quickly
  • please direct any questions to
  • please call me if
  • situation will not recur
  • sort this out as quickly as possible
  • that this will be the end of the matter
  • trust that you will
  • well worth your effort
  • will greatly appreciate
  • your immediate attention to