Employee Absence and Attendance

Hayday S | Opinion Paper OP10 | Institute for Employment Studies | Nov 2007

Absence from work costs the UK economy many millions of pounds each year. The best performing organisations lose an average of 2.6 days per employee to absence, compared to the worst performing organisations which lose 11.4 days to absence.

This huge difference of nearly nine days indicates that there is significant scope for organisations to improve their absence and attendance management practices.

This opinion paper explores the causes of absence, how to measure and monitor absence, and identifies successful absence management techniques. It advocates policies that not only emphasise preventing 'illegitimate' absence, but also give sufficient priority to those who are 'legitimately' absent and aid their return to work.