Employee lateness is costing companies, including SMEs, £66 million every year, according to new research.The data, which was gathered by Peninsula, showed that Monday was the most common day for people to turn up late, accounting for 65 per cent of all employee tardiness.Employees also admit that they often lie about the reason for their lateness, with 77 per cent saying that they had bent to truth to account for their delay. The most popular excuses included blaming public transport, heavy traffic or lost keys.On average, employees are ten minutes late for work, but Mike Huss, a senior employment law specialist at Peninsula, explained that "an absent employee, even for a few minutes, creates problems for management, other employees and customers."He added: "Lateness appears to have become a national epidemic and bosses need to act sooner rather than later to minimise it."It does not matter how capable the employee is, if they are not in the workplace they are no use to the employer, and thus have a negative impact on productivity."Mr Huss advised SME owners who wished to tackle employee lateness that they should establish a monitoring system to track the time and frequency of the events.© Adfero Ltd