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In ‘Absenteeism explained’, our experts answer your most frequently asked questions about absenteeism. In this issue: which figures offer a clear picture of the absenteeism in your organisation?
The absence rate, absence frequency, and the percentage of absentees are the three most important parameters. Analyse them in unison to obtain a comprehensive picture of absenteeism in your company.
The full statement
The absence rate is the proportion of your employees (expressed as a percentage) who are absent during a given period. This mainly charts long-term absence.
The percentage will be higher during flu season than during school holidays. As such, it is more representative to track the average absence rate over a longer period (e.g. a year). The average absence rate in Belgium is 7%.
The absence frequency teaches you how often your employees report in sick on average. Divide the number of new notifications of absence during a certain period by your total number of employees. The absence frequency mainly reveals short-term absence.
Many companies focus blindly on their absence rate - which means they are only looking at long-term absenteeism. However, short-term absences often have a bigger impact on your organisation. After all, an employee who is sick for only a few days, still retains their wages and are rarely replaced. It means tasks are left undone, and colleagues may have to work overtime.
A third interesting parameter is the percentage of absentees. To obtain this, divide the number of employees who were absent at least once during a certain period by your total number of employees. This figure tells you something about the absenteeism culture in your company: how many employees are absent sometimes, either short-term or long-term? You could also track the percentage of zero absence: the number of employees who were not absent during a certain period divided by your total number of employees.
Three more important points:
Tip: absenteeism software
Absenteeism software can be used to digitise your absenteeism figures and create a clear overview of the key absence indicators.
Read more about the advantages of absenteeism software here.