DEFINITION of 'Absenteeism'

Absenteeism is the habitual non-presence of an employee at his or her job. Habitual non-presence extends beyond what is expected as a normal amount of time away for reasons such as scheduled vacation or occasional illness. Possible causes of absenteeism include job dissatisfaction, ongoing personal issues and chronic medical problems. Regardless of the cause, a worker with a pattern of being absent may put his reputation and his employed status at risk. However, some forms of absence from work are legally protected and cannot be grounds for termination.

BREAKING DOWN 'Absenteeism'

Absenteeism refers to absence from work that extends beyond what would be considered reasonable and normal due to vacation, personal time or occasional illness. Companies expect their employees to miss some work each year due to vacation, illness and personal issues and responsibilities, but missing work becomes a problem for the company when the employee is absent repeatedly and/or unexpectedly, especially if that employee must be paid while absent. While disability leave, performance of jury duty and the observance of religious holidays are all legally protected reasons for an employee to miss work, some employees abuse these laws to take time off that they shouldn't, which incurs unfair costs to the employer.

Example of Absenteeism

For example, Angela is dissatisfied with her working environment and job responsibilities. She regularly calls in sick to work for days at a time, often missing five days each month, even though she does not have any actual chronic health problems. This is an example of absenteeism.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Absentee Landlord

    An absentee landlord, most often found in commercial real estate ...
  2. Presenteeism

    Presenteeism is defined as the issue of workers who are not operating ...
  3. Key Employee

    A key employee is a staffer who is a stakeholder with a decision-making ...
  4. Owner-Occupant

    An owner-occupant is a resident of a property who also holds ...
  5. Revenue Per Employee

    Revenue per employee is an important ratio that looks at a company's ...
  6. Employee Engagement

    Employee engagement is a human resources concept that describes ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    The causes and costs of absenteeism

    Absenteeism, or habitually being absent from work, can be a major problem for businesses and employers. Find out about the causes of absenteeism, the costs of lost productivity, and what employers ...
  2. Personal Finance

    Top 10 Companies with the Best Parental Leave Benefits (NFLX, ADBE)

    Ikea just announced it will offer its 13,000 salaried and hourly employees in the U.S. up to four months of paid parental leave. Here are the other companies that offer the best benefits around. ...
  3. Small Business

    How a Financial Wellness Program Benefits Your Business

    Offering a financial wellness program to your small business employees can save you money in the long run.
  4. Investing

    How To Get A House For Free

    There is a legal way to get a house for free - if you're willing to spend the time and effort.
  5. Personal Finance

    Financial Wellness Programs: How Employees Benefit

    More and more employees, regardless of age, career or income, are turning to their employers for help with their personal financial plans.
  6. Managing Wealth

    Top 5 Ways to Retain Your Best Employees

    You need to think beyond salary to make the most talented people want to stay on for the long term.
  7. Financial Advisor

    Life Insurance Plans to Help Your Small Business Retain Employees

    How to use and design cash value life insurance plans as an incentive to help attract and retain key employees.
  8. Small Business

    Companies That Offer Unique Employee Discounts

    These companies offer employees great discounts and unique incentives you don't find with your average employer.
  9. Retirement

    A Guide to Employee Stock Option Plans

    Stock option plans are among the ways employers can compensate employees. Here's how they work.
  10. Small Business

    5 Unique Ways To Increase Office Morale

    The five techniques outlined in this article provide well-researched ways to improve employee morale and productivity.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can LLCs have employees?

    Discover how limited liability corporations (LLC) can have an unlimited number of employees and the legal steps required ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center