Budgens is trialling a new biometric system to avoid staff clocking in absent colleagues on their behalf.
The fingerprinting software is being tested in six stores and there are plans to extend it to a further 20 over the coming months. It is thought that cutting out so-called 'buddy punching' could save thousands of pounds in payroll losses.
The technology may however meet resistance from those who believe it contravenes the Data Protection Act. The Information Commissioners Office said: "Given the association of fingerprinting with law enforcement and criminality people tend to see the use of fingerprinting technology in other contexts as highly intrusive."
Budgens is also trialling facial recognition technology which helps staff avoid selling to underage customers.