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The Festive Season and the Increase of Absenteeism in the Workplace

- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA

Don’t let employees ruin your holiday season by abusing ‘sick’ leave

As the festive season fast approaches, many employees are distracted by other and have a shift in their priorities.

Unfortunately for businesses, work is often the furth est thing from the employee’s mind and they may often call in ‘sick’ to fulfil other duties and finish off their to - do - list before Christmas.

Unplanned absenteeism can negatively impact on businesses and slow down productivity drastically.

Create a clear policy: The first step in curbing abuse is to have leave and absence policies set in place which clearly states when employees are entitled to leave, the types of leave they may be entitles to and how to go about request ing it.

They also need to be ma de aware of what behaviour will subject the employee to discipline. Absenteeism problems can range from employees not calling in or not showing up for work, taking sick leave when well, and exhausting their available leave every month, to requesting extra time off and establishing patterns of abuse .

A company’s policy should be clearly written and circulated to all employees through handbooks, intranets, and other written forms (be it posters on the walls or via electronic communication) and should also be verbalized in team and department meetings as well as in notices .

As the holidays approach, it would be sensible for companies to reiter ate their absence policies to their employees.

Implement and enforce the policy: Companies can, and should, discipline their employees for any unexcused absences or ( attendance ) policy violations. However, it is vital that this enforcement be consistent and fair.

It is, therefore, critical to train supervisors, managers, team leaders and head of departments on managing absenteeism, creating effective communication methods and using disciplinary procedures when necessary. This is important to avoid morale issues and possible claims of discriminatory treatment.

Date: 10th December 2013

The Festive Season and the Increase of Absenteeism in the Workplace


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