Corporate Absenteeism Management Solutions
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Benchmarking - Automotive Industry


What is a normal absenteeism in the automotive manufacturing industry? How does it differ between those who earn R15.00 and those who earn R28.00 per hour?


CAM Solutions deals mostly with sick absenteeism and other forms of unplanned absenteeism (AWOL, Family Responsibility Leave etc).  It is extremely difficult to determine the "normal" absenteeism rate in any sector of the economy as sick absenteeism is dependant on a number of factors, including:

  • The demographics of the employees
    • Age
    • Sex
    • Responsibility levels
  • The nature of the industry

Due to the above factors it’s not possible to determine an appropriate norm for each sector but rather to determine the absenteeism profile of each employer and to consider each of the factors separately. The factors to consider are:

  • Average absenteeism rate
  • Average length of each sick leave absence
  • Average number of sick leave incidents per annum
  • Short term ratio versus long term ratio
  • Absenteeism rate per age category
  • Absenteeism per department/region etc
  • Absenteeism per earnings level (or better still per grade)

The above can be achieved by producing an absenteeism management report (AMR™) and analyzing this in detail.

At a micro level each employee can then be measured against their peers using benchmarks such as:

  • Average absenteeism rate
  • Average length of each sick leave absence
  • Average number of sick leave incidents per annum
  • The CAMS Absenteeism Index (AI™)
  • The CAMS Health Index (HI™)

In general we find that sick absenteeism levels should not be more than 2% per annum. i.e. if an employee is expected to work 250 days during a year then they should not be off sick more than 5 days per annum, on average.

We have found the absenteeism rate is higher for lower paid employees versus the high income earners. This is however more related to responsibility levels rather than income levels. Low paid employees, generally, have less responsibility, which then affects job satisfaction and morale which has an impact on absenteeism.

The benchmark absenteeism rate for the Automotive Industry (based on South African statistics), which according to our records is 1.77%.  This is calculated (Incident Days / Exposed Days as a %).  According to our research the lower income earners take more sick leave, but one also needs to consider the impact of the indirect costs.

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