Vodafone sales staff asked to scan in

Last updated 14:16 20/10/2008

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Vodafone dealership DigitalMobile is the latest employer to introduce fingerprint scanning for staff.

DigitalMobile spokesman Will Allan says the scanners have been installed in the company's 22 stores around the country and most of its 190 staff are using them to clock in and out.

The scanners were installed to manage leave, absenteeism and wages and to improve productivity, he says.

"There are so many staff out there, it's hard to know if people are turning up to work every day."

Employees previously filled out timesheets, and could claim they worked longer than they did and not report sick days they had taken, he says.

Staff who don't scan in and don't record their absence are recorded as being on unpaid leave.

Those who forget to scan in need to get their manager to confirm they worked that day in order to be paid.

Mr Allan says the amount of sick leave taken has reduced as every sick day is now reported.

Staff were thoroughly consulted and the scanners trialled before they were installed.

Some employees had privacy concerns initially, but there have been no complaints since they began using the scanners, he says.

DigitalMobile is owned by private shareholders, not Vodafone.

Motueka New World installed a scanner in 2006 but soon backed down and gave staff the option of punching in a Pin instead after an employee complained at the lack of consultation.

Egon Guttke, Foodstuffs' group manager of information technology for the lower North Island, said the use of the fingerprint readers was "pretty much common practice" in its stores and several thousand supermarket staff were using them.

National Distribution Union secretary Laila Harre said employers needed to genuinely consult staff before introducing biometric technology or they would risk reprimand from unions and the courts.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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