Thank you for the positive feedback received on the last Newsletter. In this issue I have included an extract from Labour Bulletin, an FSP email bulletin. Absenteeism is a plague in the Western Cape and costs the country billions of Rands annually. 

What are you doing to reduce absenteeism? Are you doing everything you possibly can to address the problem? If not, then the example below should give you an indication of the actual cost of absenteeism to your business.



“3 Absenteeism excuses you can penalize employees for…

Dear Reader,

Excuse#1: “I went to the clinic, but they were too busy to give me a sick note. I wasn’t feeling well and I didn’t want to wait for nurse to write a note.”

Excuse#2: “I ran out of airtime and I couldn’t buy any because I didn’t have money.”

Excuse#3: “I had to attend my aunt’s cousin’s daughter’s wedding ceremony in Rustenburg. I only found out about it at the last minute.”

You’ve most probably heard these excuses one too many times and you’re so over it… but beware! If you turn a blind eye to absenteeism your business will lose money and you won’t be able to build your employee’s commitment. Your employee’s will think you don’t give a hoot about complying with your absenteeism rules.

Do you know what absenteeism actually costs you?

Here’s how to calculate how much absenteeism costs your company:


Sarah earns R10 000 per month. She’s absent from the workplace for a total of seven working days this year.

Assume that Sarah’s productivity is equal to her earnings, and her replacement, Sally, is not as efficient as she is (as it is not her every day job), so Sally only works at a 75% productivity rate.

The estimated cost for Sarah’s absenteeism can be calculated as follows:

7 days absent             X  R10 000 = R3 230.27

21.67 average working days per month


Salary cost = R3 230.27 (sick leave)

Replacement staff cost = R3 230.27 (replacement staff salary)

Productivity loss = R807.57 (25% loss of productivity)

Actual loss = R7 268.11.

It’s clear from this example that the costs are much higher than just the cost of Sarah’s salary. And you can’t put a price on the decline in morale and increase in resentment amongst the staff that have to cover for her.

Now just imagine if 100 employees are absent during the year. It could cost you an additional R726 811!

Don’t accept excuses if your employee can’t give you supporting evidence to prove their absence from work.”

As can be seen from the above, absenteeism is COSTLY! 

DO NOT: take a light view of absenteeism; ignore the problem; give up on addressing the problem; merely accept employee excuses for being absent.

DO: call your employees in to the office on their return after absenteeism and question them in depth on the reason for their absence and make notes of their responses to your questions; inform them of the impact their absence has on the business; take disciplinary action in the form of written warnings for unauthorised absence from work and even dismiss where necessary and after fair processes have been followed; take proactive steps to tackle the problem of absenteeism.