The days of workers clocking on for absent or late colleagues could soon be over, after a new fingerprint-based identification system was launched to help shops and factories beat fraud.

‘Valid ID’ uses fingerprint scanning for staff clocking in and out, ensuring managers know who has arrived for work - and at what time they arrived and left.

If employees fail to turn up, managers are pinged an alert, letting them know who is late and that they need cover.

The biometric fingerprint system, launched by Auto Time Solutions, also stores an audit trail of accurate clocking times that can then be transferred into payroll software. As well as keeping an eye on staff, c-stores and off-licences can also use the system to help stay within the law - and evade hefty fines - on sales of age-related products such as cigarettes and alcohol.

If challenged about their age when attempting to buy either, customers can store a scan of their fingerprint and register their name and date of birth on the system. The next time they are challenged, they will be able to buy such products even if they have no ID as their details will be stored.

“Every retailer has a duty of care to ensure compliance to working time regulations and laws surrounding the sale of age-restricted products,” said Auto Time business development director Christian Berenger.

“Biometric technology lends itself perfectly to assisting both scenarios.By deploying Valid ID, retailers can enjoy the cost savings associated with optimising their workforce and the peace of mind that they won’t be facing steep penalties for non-compliance to alcohol and cigarette legislation.”

Auto Time has launched the system following the acquisition of Time2 Biometric Clocking Systems in September.