Absenteeism Rate

First published on Thursday, Dec 02, 2021

Last updated on Monday, Jul 08, 2024

Absences in the workplace are normal and staff have a right to time off. But it’s key you understand the number of absences your company has annually.

By getting on top and managing your rate of absences correctly, you can understand why your employees require time off and ensure that rate decreases.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what employee absenteeism rate is, how to calculate your rate correctly and ways in which you can reduce it.

Absenteeism rate definition

An absenteeism rate is an annual measurement and recording of staff absences. These absences can be for a variety of reasons:

When looking to compare absenteeism rate benchmark for your company to others, you can choose to measure an individual, a team, or the overall business.

Ensure you don’t include vacations or lateness into the rate. Vacations are an authorized absences and lateness could be for a legitimate reason, for example transport delays.

How to calculate absenteeism rate

To fully understand your company’s rate of absence, you need to know how to calculate it correctly.

There are absenteeism rate calculator’s available, but there is also a simple absenteeism rate formula which can be used:

The number of absence days divided by the total number of employees multiplied by the total number work days. Then multiply this number by 100%.

What is a good absenteeism rate?

Absenteeism rate is normally about 1.5%, anything above this is seen as a high absenteeism rate. But it’s difficult to gauge whether you have your absenteeism rate is high, it’s industry dependent.

For example, people working in the education sector could suffer from illness more than a field-based sales rep.

By understanding what your rate is, you can work with your employees to find out why they’re absent and bring it down. The more staff you have absent, the more you will be affected financially, and productivity could also decline.

How to reduce absenteeism rate

As an employer, there’s certain things you can do in order to bring your rate of absence down.

  • Communicate with your employees: Following an absence, hold return-to-work interviews to try and find the reason for the absence.
  • Have a clear leave of absence policy: This should include how to book time off, the amount of vacation time allowed, and any disciplinary procedures.
  • Support employee wellbeing: Open up a dialogue to see if there are any issues in the workplace which are stopping someone from showing up.

Get help with your absence management rate today with BrightHR

It’s important that get on top of your absenteeism rate. Staff have a statutory right to time-off. But allowing your staff to be absent regularly will leave you with too many people off at once and unhappy employees.

If you need assistance with your absence management, BrightHR has several tools which will make the whole process easier for you.

Our staff vacation planner and sick leave and lateness tools allow you to manage employee absences in seconds.

Contact us on 18882204924 or book a demo today.


Lucy Cobb

Employment Law Specialist

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