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Absenteeism is the term generally used to refer to unscheduled employee absences from the workplace. Many causes of absenteeism are legitimate, for example personal illness or family issues, but absenteeism also can often be traced to other factors such as a poor work environment or workers who are not committed to their jobs. If such absences become excessive, they can have a seriously adverse impact on a business's operations and, ultimately, its profitability.

Peculiar Features of Absenteeism

1) The rate of absenteeism is lowest on payday; it increases considerably on the days following the payment of wages and bonus. The level of absenteeism is comparatively high immediately after payday. When worker either feel like having a good time or in some other cases return home to their villages family and after a holiday, has also been found to be higher than that on normal days.

2) Absenteeism is generally high workers below 25 years of age and those above 40. "The younger employees are not regular and punctual". Presumably because of the employment of a large no. of new comers among the younger age groups, while the older people are not able to withstand the strenuous nature of the work.

3) The percentage of absenteeism is higher in the night shift than in the day shift. This is so because workers in the night shift experience great discomfort and uneasiness in the course of their work than they do during day time.

4) Absenteeism in India is seasonal in character. It is the highest during March-April-May, when land has to be prepared for monsoon, sowing and also in harvest season (Sept-Oct) when the rate goes as high as 40%.


The rate of the absenteeism in Indian industries is very high due to following factors

1. Sickness and Low Vitality - sickness is most important responsible for absenteeism in almost of the in Industrial sector. Epidemics like cholera, small-pox and malaria always break out in severe from in most industrial areas. The low vitality of the Indian workers makes them easy prey to such epidemics and bad housing and unsanitary conditions of living aggravate the trouble.

2. Means of Transport: - industries. It has been pointed out that, the rate of absenteeism is higher in those factories where transport facilities are not easily available as compared to those where such facilities are easily available or provided by the factory itself.

3. Hours of work : The long hours of work also affect the workers’ efficiency and consequently their sickness rate and absenteeism rate are increased.

4. Nightshift: It has also been pointed out that there is a greater percentage of absenteeism during the nightshifts than in the dayshifts, owing to the greater discomforts of work during the night-time.

5. Rural exodus: It has been noticed that the workers go back to their villages at the time of harvesting and sowing the crops. It increases the rate of absenteeism in factories.

6. Accident: Industrial accident depends upon the nature of work to be performed by the worker and his ability for doing that work. In case of hazardous nature of job, the accidents occur more frequently which lead to higher rate of absenteeism.

7. Social and religious Function: it has been noticed that workers become absent form their duty on occasions of social and religious functions. Since the workers like to join their families on such occasions, they go back to their villages for like to join short periods.

8. Drinking and amusement: Since drinking and amusements in the late hours of night make it difficult for the workers to reach in time on their duties. They like to become absent rather than late since they know that badly workers will be substituted for if they come late.

9.After Pay-Day: The level of absenteeism is comparatively high immediately after the pay-day because they get their wages, they feel like having a good time or return to their villages to make purchases for the family and to meet them.

10. Nature of work: the absenteeism rate is also affected by nature of work.

With Thanks and Best Regards,


Addl Secretary-NIPM Karnataka Chapter


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