Errands while punched in
Our company has always made every attempt to allow for a suitable work/life balance for our employees, but our past policy required that our employees should not leave company property to run personal errands while punched in on the timeclock. Previously, they could punch out and use a lunch or half-hour of flex time, but that once they left, they should not be punched in. It's now been proposed by a member of senior managment that our employees should be allowed to leave as necessary (without having to worry about punching out or back in) to take a child to the doctor, pay a bill, etc.
First, this seems like it would lead to additional, unwarranted OT, as they would be required under the newly proposed "make-up policy" to make up the time they missed (so if they missed an hour for an errand, stayed punched in, came back and worked an hour to make up the time, the last hour would potentially be time and a half).
Secondly, and more importantly, I've always thought that this leads to serious liability issues. One, they would not be covered under our workers' compensation policy if they had an accident while doing things outside the scope of their regular employment duties. And two, if they had an accident while still punched in, the victim of that accident could come back and expect the company to be legally responsible for any resulting damages.
Does anyone have thoughts on if my assumptions here are correct or completely off base? I'd appreciate any feedback!