Would you fine your employees for submitting a time sheet late like KPMG?

22 January 2019 -

Time sheetOne manager reacts to KPMG’s policy on late time sheets

CMI Insights

Professional services firm KPMG has hit the headlines with the news that some staff could face fines for failing to complete their time sheets.

Time sheets enable employees to record how they have spent their working hours – and are used by many organisations to monitor productivity and project demands. KPMG has said of the policy: “Like any professional services business, it’s important that all of our people complete their time sheets on time, so that we can accurately track our revenue, record our work for our clients and plan our resource effectively.”


However, many management experts are surprised at the move to introduce penalties of £100 for late submission. “KPMG’s threat to fine employees for failing to submit timesheets is extraordinary,” says Christine Pratt FCMI – founder of HR & Diversity Management. “I can think of no circumstance where threats in the workplace should be encouraged. Imposing fines and penalties will simply create a divide between management and workforce. It will end in tears.”

Legally, deductions can only be made from an employee’s salary in accordance with the law – or a mutually agreed employment contract. “If an employer decided to proceed with enforcing deductions without the employee’s consent it would be deemed illegal and the employer risks being taken to tribunal for unfair deductions from wages,” adds Pratt.

KPMG is said to propose taking the charge out of an employee’s share of its annual bonus pot. It will not impose the fine on employees who have been off sick or have other circumstantial reasons for not submitting a time sheet.


Of course, time sheets are widely used in consultancies and other client-centred businesses And there are advantages to using them. Pratt calls time sheets a “reasonable and informative factsheet” and acknowledges that “overbilling” (by overestimating hours worked) is a crime.

For managers who are trying to encourage their staff to be prompt with time sheet submission, she proposes three less controversial solutions.


  1. Put the problem of late time sheets to the workforce – they may come up with positive ideas to improve the situation
  2. Offer a reward or bonus for those who routinely submit time sheets on time
  3. Introduce an open and transparent scheme where those who do not submit time sheets on time are ‘asked’ to make a donation to a charity

Christine Pratt FCMI is founder of HR & Diversity Management

Image: Shutterstock

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