What is an Absenteeism Policy?

An absenteeism policy is a series of guidelines and procedures that aim to decrease the number of days that employees miss work. It may define acceptable reasons for absence, such as illness, scheduled time off, or injury, and include rules regarding disciplinary action for repeated absenteeism or tardiness. An absenteeism policy is financially beneficial to companies, as missed work days reduce employee productivity.

What Falls Under an Absenteeism Policy

Any policy that emphasizes paid time off (PTO), vacation days, sick days, or parental or other leave falls under the category of absenteeism policy. In addition, the absenteeism policy outlines protocols that need to be followed if employees miss more days of work than what is acceptable. The best attendance policies are fair, and motivating, and foster a reduced number of days missed due to sickness, vacation, doctor appointments, and others.

How can I Decrease Absenteeism?

Companies can use PTO policies to decrease absenteeism. PTO is a predetermined number of days per year that an employee can take off for vacation, sickness, and other reasons while receiving their full wage or salary. For instance, a company can offer ten days or two work weeks of PTO to its employees on top of paid state holidays and qualifying parental leave. Employees who know they have a limited number of paid days off will use them only when needed, keep track of their absences, and strive to increase their attendance.

An attendance policy is also essential because it boosts productivity and reduces financial losses. HR professionals enforce office attendance policy, and they teach new employees from day one what to do when calling in an absence or if they arrive late at work. HR might also conduct regular attendance training to motivate employees to improve their attendance.

The ideal attendance policy takes into account the unpredictability of real life while encouraging employees to attend work and arrive on time as often as possible. The policy needs to clarify what an absence is, what counts for PTO and what doesn’t, and at what point an employee is considered tardy. Guidelines on how to report absences and to whom, as well as disciplinary actions that might be taken for excessive unexcused absenteeism need to be scripted. Celebrating or rewarding employees who have excellent attendance records will also help foster a culture of attendance.