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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 ?
While every child and family grapples with challenges from time to time, such as an illness or unexpected family emergency, the growing research on absenteeism is clear and shows that chronic absence from school is not only a primary cause of low academic achievement but also a powerful predictor of which students are at a higher risk for dropping out.
Our long-term goal is to increase productivity and reduce absenteeism through our wellness journey by understanding the sick absenteeism rates in relation to the building pollutant levels.
Absenteeism is a provisional absence from work and organisation (temporary withdrawal from the organization) for reasons such as illness, death in the family or other personal causes [16,17].
On the whole, Indian corporations report absenteeism rates as high as 20 percent, meaning one in five call in sick for various reasons.
Results revealed a moderately positive in-phase correlation between absenteeism and fever/influenza syndrome by school district during the pH1N1 period (r = 0.
Minister Reilly added the HSE has strengthened its policies on managing absenteeism following the 3.
Employers state that there are significant knock-on effects to absenteeism, and yet our survey has shown that there are a considerable number of companies that do not follow through on consequences for employees consistently taking unplanned leaves.
Employers believe there are significant knock-on effects to absenteeism for a business.
The lack of a gender gap in overall absenteeism underscores this finding.
Across all workers, the estimated cost of absenteeism to their respective employers is $341 per complete missed workday.
A breakdown by local authority shows Blaenau Gwent has had the highest rate of overall absenteeism from maintained secondary and special schools since 2010-11.
Raise your hand if you think a poster contest is going to make a dent in absenteeism rates in the city.