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A situation in which a large number of workers consistently do not come to work, especially for illegitimate reasons. Absenteeism implies that the workers are not terminated for their actions. It can be a sign of poor management.


  1. the level of unsanctioned absences from work in an organization.
  2. chronic unsanctioned absence from work by individuals.

    Absence from work may be sanctioned by managers in advance for certain reasons (for example for a forthcoming visit to the dentist), or may be sanctioned subsequently (for example for illness – see SICK PAY). The difficulty arises where there are no acceptable reasons for absence or where managers believe the excuses tendered to be untrue.

    In theory, DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES can be activated but it can be difficult to prove that employees were absent without due cause. Managers could visit absentees at home to establish the facts but this can be time-consuming and counter-productive since it can indicate to committed employees that they are not trusted. Whilst punishing absence can be difficult, measures can be taken to encourage attendance, such as extra pay (see ATTENDANCE BONUS). A high level of absenteeism is often seen as an indicator of the quality of a workforce but it can equally be an indicator of poor working conditions. Improvement of the latter may also reduce absenteeism.


unsanctioned absences from work by employees. The level of absenteeism in a particular firm often reflects working conditions and morale amongst workers in that firm and affects the firm's PRODUCTIVITY. See SUPPLY-SIDE ECONOMICS.
References in periodicals archive ?
8 billion annually on substitutes, and teachers are absent an average of 14 to 16 days each year.
After the drive against absent teachers, some education officers had started approving long leaves of teachers, he pointed out, adding that this practice should be stopped at the earliest as any application without reference number and entries into inward and outward registers would be deemed unapproved and teachers status would be absent.
According the code of conduct, there should be action against an MP who is absent for three days.
Absent Friends winning under claimer Patrick Mathers at Nottingham last month
All of those pictures index an absent humanity, and all of them speak of the relation between themselves and other mass-produced illusions--the Disney castle at nighttime when the visitors have left, as fraudulently mysterious as the Hollywood set with the Sleeping Beauty brambles grown up around it; a tinsel-laden Christmas tree as silvery as the photograph's surface; photographic wallpaper rendering the great outdoors in an urban indoors, as flat as the black-and-white print that re-represents it.
One in 20 absent parents are mothers and this proportion is increasing all the time.
A conceptual analysis is developed in order to define the concept of testimonial evidence and to establish three categories of declarants: the absent, anonymous and vulnerable witnesses.
He also took notice of Drawing Teacher Rukhsana Channa, who was absent from the duty since long.
Those absent included Richard Alarcon, in Washington, D.
The Government insisted last night it had no plans to scrap the policy of making absent parents pay towards their childrens upkeep, amid reports Ministers were preparing to scrap the Child Support Agency.
In this case, though, the absent works were Man Ray's Gift, 1921, Meret Oppenheim's Object (fur-lined teacup), 1936, and, again, Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel.
Any member of the purported class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member.