4 ways absenteeism can affect your businesses - Mitrefinch


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4 ways absenteeism can affect your businesses

Published: November 2, 2018

Absenteeism can have a negative impact on your business, and the morale of your workforce. Employees take absences from work for many reasons, but getting to the root of the causes can help to prevent future absences. Although an odd absence here and there is expected for various reasons beyond the control of your employees, when absenteeism starts to take a pattern, a company’s bottom line and productivity can be negatively affected. 

So what are the main causes of absenteeism and how could they affect your business?


Illnesses and injury

The main reasons for workers taking time off is due to illnesses, both physical and mental. The physical and mental wellbeing of your employees is of the upmost importance, but this can often be overlooked when planning to cover shifts. While employers must make sure that they are not unfairly penalising anyone who decides to take time off due to genuine sickness, if this is occurring on a regular basis, then it may time to look at the root of the cause. Are your employees fully supported? Do they have the resources and training they need to ensure their safety and wellbeing? If you notice a pattern with sick leave, you may have investigate further.

Technology such as our absence management software makes it easier for employers to spot anomalies, as well as to gather evidence and employee data to help support your workforce.


Bullying and harassment

Another major reason for unplanned absences is bullying in the workplace. When thinking of bullying, we often think it ends in the playground at school – but bullying at work can be a real problem that needs addressing. Sometimes it can be wrongly labelled as a ‘clash of personalities’, character building or a certain leadership style. Often, the stress a situation can cause employees to call in sick as the victim can feel that there is no other way out of the situation. To avoid this unwelcome scenario, it is wise to establish a strong anti-bullying policy and make it easy for employees to approach a trusted supervisor with their concerns. Trust is the most important thing in this situation, having a point-of-contact that is trusted and respected is a good idea and often required. 



Taking care of a child or other dependant can put many employees under pressure and cause them to take leave from work. Returning to work after maternity or paternity leave can be difficult for many parents or carers. This can be for not just tiredness or stress, but also returning to work can be a big adjustment and a challenge for many parents and carers.  This to a certain extent can be prevented by establishing childcare schemes and flexible working arrangements where possible in the workplace. Offering flexible working options and being open to staggered return weeks for new parents can make all the difference to new parents!


Low morale

Have you ever felt down, unmotivated and not wanting to go to work? Those struggling with low morale may decide to skip work if they are lacking in motivation. It is really important to get to the bottom of why this may be occurring and engage with employees on a regular basis to incentivise workers and boost morale. Build team morale by showing appreciation, growing trust and recognising the impact and effort that your employees are giving. Listen to your workforce, and ask them what they need to help motivate or energise them in the workplace.


Absenteeism can be a real issue for many employers, but by introducing HR policies, for example flexible working, and by tracking the time and attendance of your workforce, businesses will start to see a reduction in absenteeism. Get in touch with Mitrefinch today to find out more about the benefits of our time and attendance systems on 0330 726 0066 or email sales@mitrefinch.co.uk.

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