Concerning labour standards:
A worker complained to FWF that they are subject to illegal monetary fines for arriving late at work. The complainant was fined 425 RMB in October 2018. He/she explained that, according to factory policy, workers would be fined 5 RMB if they are less than five minutes late, they would be fined 10 RMB if they are five to thirty minutes late, 30 RMB if they are more than thirty minutes late. If they are late for work for three times in one month, from the fourth time they have to pay triple the fine paid for the first three times. The complainant also stated they only have half an hour for dinner from 17:15 to 17:45, which is not enough for those workers who need to go home for dinner. As a result, it is quite common for them to be a couple of minutes late.
Findings and conclusions
Overview of the complaint investigation
The factory is informed about the complaint and mentioned that the complainant was late 13 times in October, mostly in the morning and not in the evening.
The policy of the factory with regards to arriving late is as follows:
Workers that arrive late one or two times receive a verbal warning, workers that arrive late more often will be posted on the notice board and can explain to the HR department why they are often late. Subsequently, they can provide their reasons and also sign a letter stating that they will not arrive late again. HR determines how much is deducted from the attendance bonus.
According to the factory, there have been several moments of communication with this worker about his/her late starts, but without any results. The factory is afraid that other workers will copy this behaviour if they do not take measures.
The fine is normally a lower bonus – they withhold an amount on the attendance bonus that workers receive. In this case, the worker was late so many times that they decided to deduct more money than the bonus and, therefore, deducted money from the salary.
Suit Supply mentioned that it is illegal to deduct from salaries and that the factory should work on a better bonus system. Suit Supply is waiting on the next salary slip of the worker to see what has been done. The factory promised not to deduct it from the salary but from the end of year bonus.
Regarding dinner time, most workers eat in the canteen and most have indicated that they rather have half an hour, so they can continue working to finish earlier in the evening. The factory follows the rule of highest number of votes and it is difficult to deviate from this, since they all work in one line and if one worker is missing the whole line cannot work.
12/06/2018 Conclusion of the investigation
The complainant stated that fines were deducted from his/her salary for being only 5 minutes late. The factory responded that the complainant was late 13 times in October. To deduct money from workers in the form of fines is illegal, the factory should work on a more reasonable bonus system to resolve this problem. It is positive that the factory is transparent and the complainant did not fear to complain to FWF without being retaliated. This is a positive step towards transparency and better working conditions.
As a solution, FWF suggested that the factory does not pay for the minutes not worked due to being late. For instance, if the accumulated time for being late in a month is 30 minutes, the factory can deduct the amount corresponding to 30 minutes of work from the wage. However, they are not allowed to deduct more than 30 minutes.
The complainant was more than 30 minutes late in one month - 2 hours and 120 minutes exactly. The factory had already deducted 75 RMB from the worker's wage and confirmed that they would reimburse it.
02/02/2019 Evaluation of the complaint
FWF's complaints handler could no longer reach the complainant.
This complaint is closed.