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Absenteeism – Senior Adviser Q&A

Published: May 14, 2023

Advice Team Leader, Ava Kulkarni, talks us through employee absenteeism at the workplace. Gain a better understanding of how to manage your employees who misuse sick leave.

Read Transcript

Absenteeism would probably be described as any time

that an employee is either

rostered on to work or is a regular work day for them

but they don't actually show up to work.

This is probably one of the most common calls

that we get on the advice line

here is, you know, issues around

absenteeism and, you know, the problem

with absenteeism is it could be as a result of sick leave

as a result of the employee abandoning their position

or, you know, just unauthorized absence.

Probably one of the most difficult

situation the employer is in is when

they cannot figure out if the employee's

actually unwell or sort of misusing

their sick leave.

So I think one thing an employer can

look out for is when there is some sort

of pattern to the sickness.

So if an employee's away every other Monday, for

example, there's a chance that it might

not be a genuine sick leave day.

And when that's the case, when an employer starts

to notice some sort of pattern then

there's some processes that we can take

them through in order to address that

particular situation.

Probably the first step to take is,

you know, gather the evidence that they have

in terms of how they found out that the

employee potentially wasn't genuinely

unwell and then we would probably take

the employer through disciplinary process

in terms of putting that allegation to the employee,

finding out what the employee's response to that is,

and then seeing if, you know, giving them

a warning for that for that particular

allegation of misconduct would be justified.

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