Businesses brace for employee absenteeism ahead of long weekend

Published October 21, 2022 Molly Chandran
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With the upcoming Labour Day long weekend on 24 October, it is critical for every employer to understand employee entitlements and the impact of absenteeism on their bottom line.

Mr Laurence McLean, Operations Manager from Employsure, New Zealand’s leading employment relations and health and safety specialists, commented, “It can be confusing for employers to identify which date an employee should receive their public holiday entitlement. Each time a long weekend comes around, it increases the likelihood of a small business employer making an unintentional payment mistake and that is a heightened risk when they are trying to cover for last minute gaps in staffing.”

One of the challenges that long weekends pose is absenteeism. When unplanned absences are frequent and start forming a pattern, it has every likelihood of impacting the employee’s performance at work and that of their colleagues as they will be left with an additional workload. When this happens, staff begin disengaging and start taking time off work; leading to increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, and reduced revenue.

There are additional financial costs for employers to factor in such as lost work, administrative costs in managing absences, and employee replacement costs if absences are a long-term issue.

Small to medium businesses will not be able to cope with employee absenteeism especially when it comes on top of inflation and a growing labour shortage. In certain industries such as hospitality and retail, the effects of absenteeism can mean delays and slower customer service leading to frustrated customers which will have a negative impact on the business’s reputation. “Businesses need to have processes and policies in place that can help them manage absenteeism and handle long weekends. Employsure has leveraged its expertise and created specific resources and assets to support business owners in understanding public holiday entitlements and managing employee absenteeism,” concluded Mr McLean.                          

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