Servicing Australia wide HR consulting for employers Australia wide.

Managing absenteeism in the workplace

A recent call from a client on managing absenteeism in the workplace reminded me of an Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) report titled “Absence Management”. Sponsored by wellness provider Synergy Health, the report highlights trends in workplace absence levels, causes of absence, and how the effects of absence are felt in workplaces.

A total of 533 respondents from AHRI’s member database returned answers to the survey. Responses were treated anonymously. Key findings of the report include:

  • average number of unscheduled absences each year per employee: 8.8 days
  • private industry average: 7.4 days
  • not-for-profit sector average: 9.8 days
  • public sector average: 10.8 days

The most common reasons given by employees for short-term absences:

  • minor illness
  • family/carer responsibilities
  • recurring medical conditions

More than 50% of respondents report at least one of the following factors contribute to unscheduled absences in the workplace:

  • low levels of employee engagement
  • a culture of sick leave entitlement
  • poor leadership style and management practice

While 64% of respondents believe unscheduled absence rates in their workplace are too high, 79% report their workplace doesn’t record the cost of absence. Around half of the responses indicate HR professionals consider non-genuine absences (e.g. ‘pulling sickies’) to be a moderate (37 per cent) or serious (10 per cent) problem in their workplace.

AHRI’s infographic summarising key findings of the report is available here.

There’s both tactical and strategic options employers can take to reduce unscheduled absenteeism. At Bare Bones Consulting we look at workplace challenges from angles our competitors don’t and we specialise in identifying low cost or no cost options to find better HR solutions. Why not give us a call to see what we can do for you? Excessive absenteeism costs you money. Any improvement in managing absenteeism adds up to a better bottom line for you…and for your employers who have to take up the slack.

  • PO Box 3956,
    Burleigh Town 4220,
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

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Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.