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Public sector absenteeism issue comes to a head again

Supplier: Mitrefinch Australia By: Katrina Hall
12 January, 2016

New data compiled by the APSC (in their State of the Service report) has named and shamed some of the worst offenders by department, sending shockwaves through the public sector.

Back in February last year, Mitrefinch published a blog titled, Public sector absenteeism highlighting some high-profile cases of public sector absenteeism. In more recent news, the issue of unwarranted absenteeism in the government/ public sector is again falling under scrutiny.

New data compiled by the Australian Public Service Commission (in their respected, annual State of the Service report) has named and shamed some of the worst offenders by department, sending shockwaves through the public sector. Along with the report, the sad fact of the matter is that public sector absenteeism has actually increased over the last 12 months from 4.2 per cent to 4.5 per cent in 2015.

So what can be done?

Through utilising a simple technological innovation like a Mitrefinch biometric time and attendance system, public sector decision makers have the power, literally at their fingertips, to halt absenteeism in its tracks. This system is by far the best, simplest and most economical way to bring about an end excessively high absenteeism rates.

In addition to this technology, it is also critical to address the underlying reasons for high absenteeism rates. Some of the factors cited in various aggregate studies include the following:

  • Mental stress costs Australian businesses more than $10 billion per year (Source: Safe Work Australia)
  • Nearly 20 per cent of lost productivity costs in Australia are directly related to alcohol and other drug use (Source: Curtin University figures)
  • Minor illness such as cold and headaches contribute to absenteeism (Source: Telegraph statistics)