Time Theft is on the Rise in the Security Industry
What does that mean for your property?
As you’re paying the invoices from your security provider, have you ever questioned whether your provider actually worked the number of hours you’ve been billed for? If yes, you’re not alone.
A growing number of businesses in the community and across the country are experiencing similar doubts with their security provider, as they’re being presented with increased invoices but lacking other documentation. But what can you do to monitor your security providers time spent on the premises yourself and avoid time theft?
The first step is to understand where potential time theft can occur.
Types of Time Theft by Security Providers
The first, and likely most common, type of time theft in this industry is Timesheet or Time Clock Theft. This occurs on a site that relies on properties that use non-electronic means to track employees hours, leaving room for employees to falsify their timecards by hand or sometimes with the assistance of another employee (punching their time card for an absent employee when they’re late or not at their post altogether).
Another type of time theft is extended breaks. Many workplaces do not track employees’ breaks, choosing to rely on the honour system when sending their employees for their regulated breaks. Time theft can arise when an employee continually uses more time than they’ve been allotted for their breaks and given that it’s untracked, they’re being paid for time not spent working.
Another classic example of time theft in the workplace is Wi-Fi theft. This type of time theft occurs when employees surf the internet or tend to personal matters online, ignoring their job duties in the process. Many employees within the security industry and beyond look at Wi-Fi theft or slacking off during work hours as no big deal but over time, the lost work hours and additional wages add up to a large problem for employers.
Similar to Wi-Fi theft, employees missing from their post or sleeping on duty is another leading cause of time theft in the workplace. Any time an employee fails to be present where or when required to be there indicates a failure to meet job expectations and technically falls under time theft. As a result, you may also see employees falsifying their daily reports or other documents to cover up time spent slacking off.
Lastly, a large number of hours for employers are lost each year to absenteeism. While absenteeism for health reasons should be excused by employers, unexplained absenteeism should be investigated further to avoid time theft.
How can you prevent time theft at your workplace?
As a client, you can take some measures to ensure that your Security provider is providing the Services that you deserve.
- Electronic Checkpoints: when you have various locations with checkpoints, you can monitor the guards when they are on schedule patrol. If a patrol was missed, then you will receive notification via email. All checkpoints must be clocked in and this will eliminate the amount of hours lost due to workers missing from their post, absenteeism and sleeping on duty.
- Security Camera: if you want to ensure that your guard is at their post and performing their duties, then consider placing a live feed at their post. The guard will not be able to have access to that camera.
- Electronic Report: To eliminate the number of falsified reports and to ensure that our guards are keeping an accurate report, switching to electronic reporting may be an option for you. Usually, electronic reports work hand in hand with electronic checkpoints.
- Increase Mobile Supervision: To ensure that the guards are performing their duties properly, you can ask your provider to increase on-site monitoring by your Mobile Supervisor. The supervisor should make an unscheduled visit one or twice per shift. This should eliminate the amount of absenteeism at a post. To ensure that the supervision is being conducted effectively, your supervisor should provide you with a Supervisor Inspection Report at the end of their shift. Occasionally, your provider management team should try to attend the premises and check up on the guards.
If you feel your premises are not being protected by your provider, then you can demand that they resolve these issues and investigate replacing individual guards, if necessary. If this continues, then you have the right not to pay your provider for that day due to services not rendered.
At Third Watch Protection Services we have zero tolerance for guards that choose to ignore workplace rules and procedures, especially with regards to time theft of clients. If a guard violates our time theft policies, then they will be removed immediately pending internal investigation. This is part of our promise to our clients and guarantees that you are receiving the proper service you deserve at all times.