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Focus on absenteeism: know the facts

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HC Online | 09 Feb 2012, 12:00 AM Agree 0
A common issue posed to Australian HR professionals and workplace consultants is in relation to best practice for managing personal leave entitlements, and more specifically those who obviously use their sick/carer’s leave as it accrues.
  • Kate Connellan | 10 Feb 2012, 04:56 PM Agree 0
    I am an Employee Relations Specialist working on the waterfront. My last 18 months there have given me a lot of time to reflect on these issues where 'the sickie' is an almost enshrined right. We do all the things above but it can only take you so far. Requiring doctors' certificates, notice and disciplining people for not providing them is only treating the symptom, not the problem and reasons for the sick days. Employee Engagement is the solution and can be done with both white and blue collar workforces but requires the organisation (or at least some key people) to be committed to it.
  • Bernie Althofer | 16 Feb 2012, 10:28 AM Agree 0
    It would appear that an organisation can have all the 'right' systems and processes in place to address or manage absenteeism. However, whilst there may be some abuse of entitlements by some workers who may for one reason or another believe that taking a 'sickie' is a right and that 'everybody does it', the solution may lie in addressing the workplace culture.
    If for example the culture is such that 'sickie's' are tolerated to the point of acceptance, then co-workers need to understand that it they who pick up the slack, and their own workload increases.
    There may be some legitimate reasons why individuals take the odd 'sickie' and the real reason may be masked because the individual does not want to alert the organisation as to the real reason for needing a 'sickie' e.g. bullying.
    Creating an environment where workers can be open about the need for a 'sickie'is part of changing the workplace culture.
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