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Corporate Absenteeism Management Solutions


  1. How do you subscribe to the software Absolv?
  2. What is absenteeism?
  3. Do you require a sick certificate when an employee has been off ill?
  4. 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?
  5. What about organisations that have employees that travel everywhere and are not really based in the office – how would you implement the absenteeism management system in this type of organisation?
  6. I would like to enquire about information on presenteeism. We are in the process of putting together ROI formulas for measuring absenteeism. However, we would like to also focus on the area of presenteeism, specifically measuring presenteeiem and would like to know if you would be able to provide us some information in this regard.

  1. How do you subscribe to the software Absolv?
    There are various options - the most suitable option will depend on your particular needs and the size of your company. Kindly e-mail CAM Solutions on [email protected] for more information in this regard.

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  2. What is absenteeism?
    Briefly, absenteeism is any time taken away from work and fall broadly into two categories: Planned and unplanned absences. Planned absences usually take place after the company has been informed of the absence, for example, maternity leave, annual leave, etc. Unplanned absence is an absence that the company does not know about before hand, for example, sick leave.

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  3. Do you require a sick certificate when an employee has been off ill?
    According the Basic Conditions of Employment Act an employee need not submit a sick certificate if he/she is off for two days or less. However, depending on the industry and employer requirements, an employer can request a sick certificate for any duration of absence, provided this has been included in the company's policies and procedures and the employees have agreed to this.

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  4. 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 analysing 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™) and 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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  5. What about organisations that have employees that travel everywhere and are not really based in the office – how would you implement the absenteeism management system in this type of organisation?
    Absenteeism management only works well if the time and attendance system is working properly. The two systems are separate but it is worthwhile for you to offer some advice to clients on their time and attendance as well. We often find that employers do not have good systems in place to ensure that the absenteeism records are accurate. The system may not be adequate to ensure that if a person is absent that it is always recorded. A good system should have a record of which employees should attend work (important if shift work) and then identify those employees who were not at work. That list should then be modified as and when information on the reason for the absence is obtained. These could be due to, being late, family responsibility, sick etc. Initially all absent employees should be recorded as AWOL until the reasons are received. If an employee is still recorded as AWOL then obviously this may lead to disciplinary steps. A time and attendance system is easy to implement if there is secure access to the work premises but may be more difficult where secure access is not present e.g. in an office environment. The client may want to utilise network log on times to assist with attendance management. The absence management for the employees who travel a lot will be difficult and in most cases the employer will have to make use of innovative ways to control absenteeism. I know a company that has a tracking system installed in the sales representatives cars. This is expensive and a little extreme when the best measure for a sales representative is sales performance. In other words if the rep is stealing a day or two but is exceeding sales targets, why worry too much!

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  6. I would like to enquire about information on presenteeism. We are in the process of putting together ROI formulas for measuring absenteeism. However, we would like to also focus on the area of presenteeism, specifically measuring presenteeiem and would like to know if you would be able to provide us some information in this regard.
    It is clear that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to measure presenteeism. The best option is to ensure that policies and procedures are in place to deal with it when identified. In terms of measuring absenteeism, you may want to utilize the AMR as a basis for this measurement (there is a sample on our website at http://www.camsolutions.co.za). The AI and HI provide useful indicators and can be used as a measurement for performance evaluation when included as a Key Performance Area. Managers should not be penalized if their employees are genuinely ill but should be measured on how they manage the possible opportunistic absenteeism. The macro factors which we consider at an employer level should all be considered when we review the performance of a manger and his/her department. This includes creating a working environment where employees feel empowered and take responsibility. The work environment has a high impact on absenteeism. Bad working conditions result in employees taking off sick for the feeblest excuse, whereas excellent working conditions will result in highly motivated employees attending working regularly. In these circumstances the employer should monitor for symptoms of presenteeism.

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