As a business owner, you likely put a lot of trust into your employees, and that can include giving them keys to the business itself. If an employee leaves the company, you may wonder if you need to change the locks. The answer depends on the specifics of the situation. Here are four signs you should put in new locks.
1. You Don't Have Codes on the Locks
If you have coded locks, it doesn't matter whether or not an employee has the codes. You can simply change the codes. If desired with many locks, you can set multiple codes. That way you can track when existing and/or former employees use those locks. Without codes, you may want to change the locks regularly.
2. The Employee Refuses to Return the Key
If old employees refuse to return keys, you should contact a commercial locksmith to change the locks. To ensure that you don't incur any unnecessary bills, you may want to include a provision in the contracts of future employees.
Your employment contract should specify that if keys are not returned, you reserve the right to withhold the cost of installing new locks from the employee's final paycheque. Check with an employment attorney to make sure that's allowable in your area.
3. You Fear That the Employee Made Unauthorised Copies of the Key
In other cases, you may have the keys returned to you, but you may just feel worried. If the employee had a history of theft or was let go due to suspicions of theft, you may want to consider changing the locks even if you have the key.
Similarly, you may want to consider changing the locks if you suspect that the employee has any reason to be retaliatory toward you, the business or other employees.
4. You Can't Open the Lock
If the former employee is the only one with a key, you may be in a situation where you can't open the lock. This may occur if the employee has lost the key or if they refuse to return it to you. With proof that you own the business and are authorised to change the locks, a commercial locksmith can unlock that lock for you, and that professional can then rekey the lock and provide you with new keys.
This could occur with the main entrance, on internal locks or with locks for things such as safes. To avoid this situation in the future, talk with the locksmith about making you a master key. As long as the locks have some core similarities, commercial locksmiths can create a master key that works for all of them.