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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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


  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.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson


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.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Class repetition at an advanced stage, the report shows, culminated to poor performance in class 7, class 8 and even Form Four."Reasons for repetition include chronic absenteeism, Poor academic performance, demand by parents and transfer to other schools," the report presented and interpreted by Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) acting CEO Mercy Karogo showed.
This process is important in learning professional attitudes and values among pharmacy student and is equally important for medical students, as missing opportunities for interaction due to excessive absenteeism may hinder the development of professionalism in medical graduates7,8.
As a result, the literature should be viewed as needing more high quality studies to determine the degree of the relationship between hand hygiene and student or teacher absenteeism. However, this does not suggest there is no relationship, just that it needs further investigation to determine the degree of impact.
The conceptual framework chosen to underpin the current research was the Organizational Dynamics Paradigm of Nursing Absenteeism (Taunton, Hope, Woods, & Bott, 1995) (see Figure 1).
Researchers defined absenteeism as all types of absences (not just truancy), categorised it into eight types, and classified absences as both excused and unexcused.
Since the disease is incapacitating, the increasing absenteeism during the epidemic period drew attention of the government.
Liverpool and Wirral also featured in the top 10 for secondary school absenteeism, but no other Merseyside authorities were among the worst for primary school absenteeism.
The schedule included --questions regarding sociodemographic profile, questions to ascertain the duration of absence, and the causes for absenteeism, information regarding dropout if any and school activities other than studies.
The Bethel district's rate of chronic absenteeism was 15.3 percent in 2015-16, significantly lower than the state average.
The committee tasked with studying the phenomenon of absenteeism also recommended the publication of absentee rates at private schools on the ministry's website.