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What are the best ways of dealing with absenteeism in the work place?

 

In terms of disciplining employees for absenteeism,  what would be the best process to follow for example when do I Discipline?.

 

 

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Hi Prudence,

Absentiism being misconduct I always start the process by counselling, finding our the reasons and making a judgement whether they are valid. Remember with everything in discipline you are setting precedence within your organisation. After counselling and making suggestions to employee the manager then follows the disciplinary code guidelines to deal with the issue at hand

Poor attendance (Minor) Verbal warning(1st offence) Written warning (2nd offence) Final written warning(3rd offence) Dismissal (4th offence)

Excessive absenteeism(Substantial) Written Warning(1st) Final Written Warning(2nd) Dismissal(3rd)

Unauthorized absence for longer than three days without a reasonable excuse (Serious) Final written warning Dismissal

Absconding and absence from work for more than 5 working days without authorisation or notification during period of absence Dismissal

I am assuming there may be medical certificates during some instances, in a case where you have tagged the employee for absentiism you might need to check those as well.


Regards,
Matimu
Hi Predunce,

Absnece must be supported by a valid reason, i.e., doctor's note indicating that the person was sick on the specific day, but absence without being communicated, nor supported by a valid sick note, must be actioned by means of taking disciplinary action against the transgressor. Every employee has the responsibility to either communicate their absence or by submitting a sick note to his/her Head of Department. Every employee must be treated as adults, and can absence without communicating the absence cannot be tolerated.

Every company do have to adhere to rules pertaining to the Labour Law, so must the employee ensure that he/she comply with the "sick procedure" of the company.

You should follow your company's diciplinary procedure and apply it accordingly.

Regards

Tiaan Walters
Hi Prudence

here are some suggestions/comments
1 - Do you have a laid down policy setting out what is regarded as absenteeism and what is considered the norms for your organisation
2-This needs to be made known to all staff in a special workshop (1 hour) and they need to acknowledge that they all understand the companies norms
3- Institute a Day Plannes witrh all staff names and each day of the year on the planner - then no5te all Training in Green, Leave in Blue, Sick leave in Orange and Absenteeism in Red and put this spread sheet up on the notice n\boiard for ALL to see.
4-Update this Chart at least every week.
(this alone drop absenteeism buuy as much as 50%to 60% believe me it works as people do not like to be seen with the orange and red marks and so make sure they dont have any - its like a miracle.
5- Be absoluteluy consistent with everybody - all must be treated the same way no exceptions
6-All mondat Friday and absence for mor that 2 days to be acconmpanied with a medical certificate ( even if the get these from spurious sources they are still out of pocket as they have to pay for them) and this is a deterrant
7-have a stated policy - (see 1 above) that says that all Unauthorised absenteein\sm in excess of (say 10 days) a year will be treated as Unpaind leave and all in excess of 20 days a year is grounds for dismissla s per matumi's suggestions above.
8 - NOW THAT IS THE EASY PART - The real issue as a manager/ HR professional is to understand the reasosns for the Absenteeism - is it working conditions, Bad Habits, Poor Work Ethic, Poor Trainin, Incompetance , Incompatability, Square Pegs in round holes, Bos and Employee Confrlicts, Sexual harrasment etc etc etc -
9- remember that there is a reason why people take off days and Take off Sick days and mostly it is because there is no real compelling reason to get to work and put in a good days effort - its easier to stay away and make an excuse

Hope this helps
Adolph
I agree with Matimu. . .what i also find to work like a charm is dont wait till the employee is absent for more than two consecutive days for them to bring a doctors note etc, instead each and every time they are absent make them sign a leave form, you will be suprized how quickly the habit starts disappearing, because sometimes you find out that there isnt even a valid reason why they were absent. i have experienced a lot of those in my line of work and believe me the leave form thing works, i even use at for half days. . .if you come to work at 12h00 instead of 08h00 u sign for half day.
Good one Lunga! (on Leave form)

Nip it in the bud before it becomes chronic. :-)
Thank you Guys for all your inputs.

We have what we call an absentee tree which guides us but it does not seem to work well. It works as follows; if a person is late more than three times in an 8 week period we give him counselling, if there's no impvovement after that then we continue to apply progressive discipline until it gets to dismissals.

We are in the process of coming up with something that is more strict and that can help us to reduce high absenteeism.
Hi i agree with all that mr Jele has discussed above i do want to emphasize the point about the management of absenteeism from start absenteeism normally has a history and those employees can be easly indentified its very important to manage this by putting a policy in place eg when an employee is absent without approved leave a letter has to go to the employee something like (we note that you were absent without leave or prior arrangements this is a matter of corncern to both those whom you work with and management because of the need to reschedule work and sometimes having to assign other staff members to do your work while you are absent. should you have any problem in future that can affect your work attendance please consult with your supervisor who may be in a position to advise.)apply this consistanly to all employees and make sure they recieve the correspondance and keep record ,if this letters have been sent twice, move to the disciplinary action as above even at the ccma the employee case will not hold water.
I agree with Matimu ito of the guidelines starting with a counselling till you get to dismissal (if necessary). I think the biggest challenge is to create an awareness amongst employees the impact absenteeims have on their colleagues. Identifying a trend i.e. before and after weekends/public holiday is vital. This is a common trend and if not managed well one can end up with major problems. What we have implemented, I am in a CC, is a back to work discussion for every absenteeism occurence. By doing so, the line manager creates an awareness with the employee. We have a standard document that is completed wherein you find out exactly what the reason for being absent was and also if there is anything that the organisation can do to assist. When it comes to issues such as high absenteeism wherein trends have been identified, the organisation is entitled to make an enquiry made. We make use of an Employee Wellbeing Program and together with our pension fund administrators, the doctor notes & conditions are investigated. A panel of qualified doctors (from the pension fund administrators) will make recommendations based on their findings and can be beneficial for the employee and employer. Abuse can be easily identified in these investigations, (moving from doctor to doctor). From this investigation can also come advice from the panel, i.e. recommend a special chair, shift work recommendations etc. Prudence my suggestion is that you start with "back to work" discussions as a first and make it standard for your company to complete, this will definitely create and awareness and I am sure you will see a drop in absenteeism after the first month. This can all be done in line with your company policies & procedures; ensure that all staff are aware of this and have signed a copy of the policy.
Good luck
Sandy
Hi Prudence,Matimu and Tiaan

Thank you for all the enlightening and useful Information about Absenteeism management

I would like to ask you please, what to do if the Boss or management have got favorites who just be absent from work just for their personal chores like doing something that they could use their lunch hour to do but just decide to be absent and the boss just turn a blind eye but if its people who are committed to their work and who are also competent asking for family responsibility leave they are told no how do one come around that kind of situation.

I mean people do not come to work because they were mourning their dogs and when others ask for the same leave mourning for a human being they are told no so please help me out here.

regards Olga
Hi Olga
More difficult especially in a small company and easier if the manager has a manager above him as you can then report this to heis /her superior

The real Issue however is having a laid down policy and procedure for all time away from work including late arrivals , long lunches and early departures

Then just apply it to everybody consistently and the NON-MANAGERS you are referring to will not be able to override as you as the HR person will be applying it across the board.

Hope this helps

Olga Mokgadi Milanzi said:
Hi Prudence,Matimu and Tiaan

Thank you for all the enlightening and useful Information about Absenteeism management

I would like to ask you please, what to do if the Boss or management have got favorites who just be absent from work just for their personal chores like doing something that they could use their lunch hour to do but just decide to be absent and the boss just turn a blind eye but if its people who are committed to their work and who are also competent asking for family responsibility leave they are told no how do one come around that kind of situation.

I mean people do not come to work because they were mourning their dogs and when others ask for the same leave mourning for a human being they are told no so please help me out here.

regards Olga
Hi There,

For me, absenteeism, as with any other disciplinary action, starts being handled at the time of employment. From day one we need to have understood expectations established with employees. they need to understand that their value to the company is based on their productivity, not on their rights under our labour laws. They need to understand what impact their actions have on the organisation as a whole. They can then know what action to expect for any infringements, and that the action will be rigidly applied, without fear or favour. I think our greatest problem is that we don't spend enough time on this kind of detailed induction, and we tend to reap negative rewards later in the relationship.
Hi Olga,

The Boss's Favourite people

We have dealt with those but this is often difficult in a small company to enforce. Favouritism boils down to bad management. Everything applied in the workplace relationships should be consistent according to me especially policies that are set down by Management

Favouritism leads to frustration and loss of respect between management and employees as other employees receive what others see as extras. Management needs to be aware of this, you need to point out to them that much as the employee pulls their weight we cant have varrying work conditions. I would suggest you set up a meeeting with the manager concerned as this can demoralise a team and ask for his/her understanding of the situation and how it affects HR if he values those employees then he will take action otherwise then like I said in a one man's show people just tend to leave as the Boss is a law unto himself.

Regards,
M J

Olga Mokgadi Milanzi said:
Hi Prudence,Matimu and Tiaan

Thank you for all the enlightening and useful Information about Absenteeism management

I would like to ask you please, what to do if the Boss or management have got favorites who just be absent from work just for their personal chores like doing something that they could use their lunch hour to do but just decide to be absent and the boss just turn a blind eye but if its people who are committed to their work and who are also competent asking for family responsibility leave they are told no how do one come around that kind of situation.

I mean people do not come to work because they were mourning their dogs and when others ask for the same leave mourning for a human being they are told no so please help me out here.

regards Olga

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