Hauntingly Horrifying HR Horror Stories and How to Avoid Them


Hauntingly Horrifying HR Horror Stories and How to Avoid Them

by Yi Ting
October 28, 2016

Being in the HR business for the past 16 years, we’ve heard many tales of HR horrors in the workplace. Some of them are truly quite scary, especially if you’re running a business.

In the spirit of Halloween, we have compiled a few of the spookiest HR horror stories shared by our friends and customers over the years. Get ready to get scared!

Phantom Employees

Does the thought of paying for employees that don’t show up for work scare you? It should.

This situation happened to one F&B owner. Having multiple outlets, he couldn’t be present at all of them every day to monitor his employees. He implemented a punch card system to track his employees’ working hours and attendance. However, one day when he visited one of his shops unannounced, he found that one of his staff was absent, and that staff didn’t even give anyone notice. Upon further investigation, he found that the same person was also in the habit of asking one of his colleagues to clock in his time for him while he was out.

In many industries like retail, F&B, or construction, buddy punching is a common problem. It is usually hard to control due to the large or decentralized nature of the workforce. This problem can also be encountered where there are employees working remotely (e.g., salespeople). While they may not go to the extent of being absent, some may also ‘steal time’ by clocking in earlier or clocking out later than their actual hours. It’s this ‘time theft’ from dishonest employees that costs businesses a lot of money – and that to us is really scary!

Fortunately for employers there are sophisticated time and attendance solutions available to prevent this problem. Firstly, there are biometric thumbprint systems that make it more difficult to steal time. However, these systems are usually expensive and complicated to set up. Extracting attendance data from the system is also time-consuming, which hinders the ability to react to urgent issues. An alternative to this would be modern solutions like eTimeclock. eTimeclock records employees’ photos and GPS locations when they clock in and out, so employers can always ensure that employees are present at their workstations. It’s also easy to set up. eTimeclock is a  mobile application that can be easily downloaded and used on smartphones and tablets. All this data will be sent into the system immediately, so employers can verify employees’ attendance in real-time. This allows management to react to manpower shortages, and identify and address dodgy employee practices quickly.

Payroll Noncompliance

A business owner was having an audit of payroll accounts after her HR Manager left the company. This was when she had a horrifying realization – the HR Manager had calculated wrong CPF contributions for her 200 employees for the past 12 months. Facing penalties for noncompliance of the CPF Act, she had to recalculate the CPF contributions and apply for adjustments for each of her 200 employees individually for 12 payroll cycles!  

Compliance to governmental regulations can definitely be a nightmare for many HR and Finance professionals dealing with payroll. Penalties for noncompliance can range from late interest payments, to fines, and even imprisonment. Considering this, compliance definitely needs to be on top of the priority list for businesses.

That’s not all. Other than CPF contributions, payroll administrators must now also present all employees with itemised payslips. Noncompliance of the itemised payslip rule will also lead to fines. With so many risks involved, the safe and easy way to go is to use automated payroll software that can help calculate CPF contributions and generate itemised payslips. Choosing cloud solutions like our ePayroll has an extra benefit – the system will always be updated with the latest governmental regulations like updated CPF contribution rates.

Inflated Expense Claims

You may not know it, but handling expense claims can turn into a hair-raising affair.

Most of the time, claims are straightforward when there are receipts to check with. However, some claims get very subjective – especially transport mileage claims. One of our customers shared with us that one of his salespersons always racked up high transport claim reimbursements. He suspected that the salesperson was inflating his mileage claims. However, it was difficult to check if the claims were accurate.

He decided to use eClaim, our solution that automatically calculates mileage claims when the departure and destination addresses are entered. After implementing the eClaim application, the salesperson’s mileage claims decreased by more than 50%! Imagine how much your business is losing if majority of your transport reimbursements were being doubly inflated. It’s a frightful thought!

It’s easy to avoid these incidents and save costs. You can use this free widget provided by Streetdirectory for basic mileage claim calculations. If you’re looking for an alternative that includes a comprehensive Claims Management System, you can check out our eClaim solution. It provides accurate mileage claim calculations together with a user-friendly interface for employees to submit claims online. Workflows can also be created to direct these claim requests seamlessly though various levels of management approval.

These HR horror stories occur more commonly than you think. It’s important to take a close look at your operations and to always be prepared because who knows? These eerie issues might be happening to your own business right now.

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