Accurate time and attendance means accurate payslips

Well-known sandwich chain Pret A Manger will pay nearly $1m in order to settle a lawsuit where it was claimed the company underpaid its New York staff.

The lawsuit alleged that US labour laws were violated due to an illegal practise called “time-shaving”. This is when a company “rounds down” or misrepresents employee working hours by methods such as requiring them to arrive early to set up but not to clock in until the doors have opened, or requiring them to stay to clean up after they have clocked out.

Pret A Manger will settle for $875,000. In a previous similar case in 2014, they settled with a payment of $910,000.

In a statement, Pret A Manger told City AM: “We are absolutely committed to making sure all our team members are paid for all the hours that they work.”

Pret A Manger has had its fair share of problems recently. It has had to label its products more extensively after the death of a 15-year-old girl from an allergic reaction to sesame seeds, which were not labelled. On top of that, the company is also dealing with cases of misleading customers by labelling some of its products as ‘natural’ when they contained chemical glyphosate.


While it is impossible to prevent unscrupulous money-grabbing by businesses, the actual point of a time and attendance system is to product the most accurate attendance records possible. Setting up a time and attendance system in fact often stabilises and even improves employees’ payroll because it removes previous reliance on fallible memory.

One easy to way avoid accidentally time-shaving your employees would be to be careful where you place the clocking terminal. Placing them in the back, near a staffroom or workstation, runs the risk of people not immediately clocking in and “just doing a quick thing” which would kick their workday off.

A much better idea is to put the terminals near entrances and exits, where they can easily clock in and out as they enter the building. Here at Tensor, we even have an “On-Site” option, separate from “Clocked-In”, which will account for any employees arriving very early to work. Our clocking in methods – fingerprint biometrics or RFID smart-cards – are also very quick, at less than a second per person, so you don’t need to worry about huge queues forming in the morning.

We even provide a web-based (or mobile phone-based) clocking app, which allows completely free and flexible clocking. The mobile app also logs the phone’s GPS, which can put concerned employers’ minds at rest.

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