Excessive absenteeism

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
Generally, supervisors have a right to expect employees to come to work with a reasonable degree of regularity. When employees miss work repeatedly, companies take a substantial loss in productivity, which in turn, can affect their profits. Consequently, many employers attempt to control excessive employee absenteeism by establishing guidelines regarding attendance. Some companies deal with absenteeism by issuing warnings automatically after a given number of absences, with repeated offenses culminating in suspension or termination. Other organizations may choose to enforce a more general policy and handle attendance-related problems on an individual basis. Regardless of the method used, supervisors must determine whether absences involve a legitimate use of approved leave, and whether the absences are adversely affecting the employee's work. However, even legitimate absences can become excessive to the point that corrective action should be taken. A good policy of controlling absenteeism will be based on the establishment of realistic and firm guidelines for attendance and communicating those guidelines to the employees. If an employee violates the policy, it may be necessary to have consultation meetings with the employee first to discuss how his or her absences are affecting the company. If improvement doesn't occur, the employee should be warned of possible disciplinary action, such as mandatory counseling or termination.
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