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Absenteeism and the Effectiveness of Absence Management Strategies - A Study within Bausch and Lomb.

Farrell , Theresa (2005) Absenteeism and the Effectiveness of Absence Management Strategies - A Study within Bausch and Lomb. Undergraduate thesis, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

In today’s competitive environment companies are increasingly focusing on issues that affect cost and productivity. One of those issues is workplace absence. It is estimated that over 12 million working days are lost every year because of absence, this equates to 350 million euro per annum. Absence management is therefore becoming a priority for organisations. The objectives of this thesis were to examine how absenteeism is defined, the costs and causes of absenteeism, absence measurement and more specifically examining the effectiveness of various management strategies employed to control or reduce absence.

Presently absence levels in Bausch and Lomb, Waterford are in excess of seven percent, with a resulting annual cost for the company sick pay scheme in excess of 1.1 million euro. Due to the high level of absence and the significant cost o f the sick pay scheme, research was conducted using two business units within the Bausch and Lomb manufacturing facility as a case study. The case study involved gathering and analysing statistical data pertaining to absence, conducting six semi-structured interviews with management in the business units and surveying 160 employees. The research has shown that most organisations do not measure the indirect costs of absenteeism and consequently do not have a true picture of the costs of absenteeism. It is recommended therefore that companies should include both direct and indirect costs in respect of absenteeism. The literary research is supported by the findings of the secondary research in relation to causes. The main cause of absenteeism is shown to be genuine illness, however, family responsibilities, shift patterns and job motivation also adversely affect absence. This was most apparent when comparing absence levels between the two shift patterns, where specifically in one business unit the absence levels for the twelve hour weekend shift was consistently higher than the eight hour three shift pattern. The various strategies employed to address absenteeism included the use of return to work interviews, disciplinary procedures and family friendly initiatives. The findings of the literature research highlighted the effectiveness of each of the aforementioned, this was supported by the research findings, where in one business unit, all of the aforementioned strategies were used, but not consistently.

In contrast, the other business unit examined as part of the case study had lower absence levels, and these strategies were applied on a consistent basis. The primary research also highlighted the need to measure absence, as again, absence was lower in the business unit that measured absence on a monthly basis. Absence measurement and consistent use of strategies such as return to work interviews is recommended. The availability of a sick pay scheme was initially presented as a strategy for controlling absence, however, the research findings have shown that the availability of a sick pay scheme can increase absenteeism rather than reduce it. A review of sick pay scheme criteria is therefore recommended. The research findings support the case that variations in absence levels are indicative of strategies that are employed to manage absence.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Absence Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Performance Management > Motivation
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Clair McAuley
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2012 10:58
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2012 10:58
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/679

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