What is “Buddy Punching” and how to avoid it?

“Buddy Punching” is a term used when one employee punches in or out instead of another. This could be a big issue when employees work without direct management supervision; an employee can come late to work or leave early and employer would not find out.

If you are using a simple timesheets method, a Time Clock with Punch Cards, Proximity Cards or passwords to track Employees’ Attendance, it is very easy for employees to “buddy punch” for each other.

There are several ways to prevent “Buddy Punching”. One way is to use Biometric Time Clock such as Fingerprint Reader, Hand Reader (HandPunch), or another biometric technology. When such Time Clock is used, no one can clock in or out instead of the specific employee: an employee must be in front of the clock for him/her to be recognized. The downside of such solution is the cost of the Time Clock itself, with Fingerprint Readers being less expensive than other Biometric Time Clocks. Another issue is that along with the Time Clock, you need a Time and Attendance Software to retrieve the data.

The less expensive solution could be a web or computer application which simulates a Time Clock. However, this solution works only if all of your employees have dedicated computers and you have strict computer security policies within your organization where each employee has an individual login and password. Second, the Time and Attendance Application you are using for punching in and out must have a method to register each work station. For example, you should be able to specify that at computer WORKSTATION002 only Employee #2255 can register. This way, no one can register employee #2255 from any other computer. Employee must login into their workstation in order to punch in.