I saw a question on this site asking if a punch clock at work was set two mins slow, could the employer be benefitting from the discrepancy. My question is, what if it's set 6 minutes slow, does that effect pay or benefit the employer? 6 minutes seems like a very odd number not to be set that way intentionally. And would it effect rounding times up or down? Thank you.

  • 3
    Six minutes is a tenth of an hour. In Germany I have several times been paid in "decimal hours". But, as @Battle says, if you lose X minutes on arrival,, you gain X minutes on departure, so don't worry about it.
    – Mawg
    Nov 7, 2019 at 7:42
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    If it is 2 minutes slow the entire day, then wouldn't the time spent working be the same? So if you came in 8am, it would be 7:58am, but when you leave at 4pm, it's 3:58pm, or exactly 8 hours.
    – Dan
    Nov 7, 2019 at 15:48
  • Sorry for some reason I thought you said 2 minutes slow, so that is why I put in 2 minutes. Regardless of the offset, the differences are the same.
    – Dan
    Nov 7, 2019 at 15:51
  • Perhaps it looses 1 minute a month so next month it will be 7 minutes slow...
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 7, 2019 at 16:18
  • @SolarMike But even then, wouldn't it still be 8 hours if you came in 8 and left at 4? The time on the clock wouldn't really matter, so long as you are actually working 8 hours.
    – Dan
    Nov 7, 2019 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


Technically you would punch in 'n' minutes earlier/later and punch out 'n' minutes earlier/later and therefore balance itself out. The clock could be wrong by any amount of time. It will however make time tracking difficult when people will look on the card, but I assume people would be aware of it going wrong, and also it's easy to prove. What matters is the time span between punching in and out.

Potential abuse and bad behavior will depend on the employer after all. One way I can see it being abused if the employer insists on the false punch clock time to scorn people who come too late or go too early. But that would be a very questionable practice. Another source of issues could arise if you'd have multiple punch clocks, and if their clocks are not aligned (in this case employees could abuse it by punching in on the one being the earliest, and punching out on the one being the latest).

What I can imagine being more the case is that the employer only wants to measure the time span of presence, or that he is forced to do so. If I am not mistaken, Germany for example is in the process of enacting laws which may force employers to install punch clocks. As of our company, that would dissatisfy everybody - employers and employees.

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