Do you know one day’s absence can cost you 3 days’ salary?

Be proactive – deal with absenteeism today!

According to a recent survey published South Africa loses R12 billion a year because of absenteeism!

You don’t only lose your employee’s salary for the day if he’s absent. Have you considered the hidden costs such as finding a temporary replacement for the absent employee? You end up spending three times that day’s salary!

You need to get employee absenteeism under control. The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service reveals how to do just that …

4 Essential tips to manage absenteeism

Tip#1: Keep a proper record of absences from work

Keep accurate records of absences from work to identify the size and cost of your absenteeism problem. You can use your attendance figures, gathered from clock cards or attendance registers, for this purpose. Transfer the details to your Sick Leave Absenteeism Record.

Make sure this records the following details:

  • The duration of absences
  • Trends, e.g. which days or periods are most ‘popular’ for sick leave 
  • Costs of the sick leave absences (a rough estimate will do)
  • The type of illnesses that occur most frequently (if this information is available)


Tip#2: Conduct return to work interviews

It’s useful to introduce a Return to Work Interview Form for the immediate supervisor to complete each time employees return from sick leave. This is a ‘visible’ form of managing the problem.

Tip#3: Take early action against an employee who contravenes your rules

You should introduce a rule in your organisation that requires an employee to contact his immediate supervisor, or other designated person, to report his absence for the day. Stipulate he should report an hour before he's due to start work, and make it clear he must be able to provide a satisfactory explanation if he fails to make the report himself.

Insist your employee repeats this procedure for each day of absence. Of course, you may decide he doesn’t need to do this if it’s clear he's genuinely ill and a daily report would be unnecessary or impractical.

How to discipline employees who fail to report to work

Even if your absent employee produces a medical certificate to justify his absence, the failure to report his absence is a disciplinary transgression that may lead to dismissal if it’s repeated. Typically, employers allow for progressive sanctions ranging from a verbal warning, written warning, final written warning and dismissal.

You must allow employees an opportunity to explain their failure before imposing these sanctions and follow the correct dismissal procedures. These procedures are outlined in the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.


The fourth and final tip is concerning standards and thresholds. You’ll find it in your Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf, along with many more practical tips and checklists

We’ll solve your absenteeism problems. Also included in the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf:

  • The CCMA has processed over one million disputes and employees have won more than 50%! Are you prepared?
  • Planning a retrenchment? Watch out…
  • Do you know how to legally dismiss your employee?
  • Do your employees abuse their leave?
  • 14 Ways to comply with employment equity
  • Make sure you resolve employee grievances before they turn into major CCMA or Labour Court disputes!
  • How to make the law work for you when it comes to overtime
  • 10 Essential steps to dismissing for poor performance - have you covered all your bases?
  • Strikes can cripple your business – find out how to prevent them.