AM-HR Generalist
Dear Seniors,
I'm a HR person working for an Engineering based designing sector in which the company's revenue is based on the productive work hours spent by the employees. While reviewing attendance reports, i analysed that on an average min.25 guys are on leave each day which is actualy 10% of the total team strength. Is this a burning alarm to act ? I would like to take your views to perceive better.
thanks in advance, Divya

From India, Chennai
Dinesh Divekar

Business Mentor, Consultant and Trainer
Dear Divya,

We need clarification about your post. In the heading you have written about absenteeism of the employees. Generally, the word "absenteeism" is associated with the unauthorised absence. On the contrary, in the main body of your post you have written that "on an average min.25 guys are on leave each day". But then leave is authorised absence. What is wrong if the employees take leave as per the procedure? Absence on account of leave, duly authorised by seniors should be always acceptable. Going further, leave is a legal provision for the employees. If one person out of 10 is on leave then nothing wrong per se.

You should get alarmed only if the absence is unauthorised one. It really upsets the apple cart of the operations. Because of someone's unauthorised absence, leave of someone who is in dire need does not get sanctioned. To attend the pressing domestic or personal commitments, that person also absents. This further aggravates the problem.

Therefore, you need to do the analysis of the absenteeism of the workers. Earlier, I have given exhaustive reply on the subject. Click the following link to refer it:


Calculation of Authorised Absence: - You have 250 employees. For every 20 working days, worker is authorised to get a day's leave. Therefore, each worker is authorised to get 15 days earned leave per annum. There are 52 Sundays and 10 closed holidays per year. If you deduct these days, it leaves out 303 working days per year. Therefore, per day authorised absence could be for (250 x 15)/303 = 3,750/303 = 12.37 employees. Therefore, even if 12-13 workers are on authorised leave per day, it should not bother you. However, your average absenteeism per day is 25. Therefore, 12-13 workers are on unauthorised absence per day. Going further, workers could be going on leave depending on requirement. During summer vacation and festival times, more number of people ask for leave. In contrast, other months are laid back.

Hidden challenge: - There could be hidden challenge in your post. Your company's operations must have been planned based on the authorised and unauthorised absence that generally takes place per day (which is 25 per day). What if on some day, there are fewer absentees, say only 5? On that day, do you have surplus manpower? If yes, then how these people are utilised? Is there under-utilisation because of excess manpower at hand? Is some unwanted work created just to fill their time? You need to check on this count also.

For further query, feel free to contact me.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Labour Law 108

Senior H.R.Manager
Absence refers to Unauthorisedly staying away from work without prior permission or sanction of leave from competent authority.This absence may be temporary in some cases due to genuine/bonafide reasons such as due to self illness/hospitalisation of close relatices etc. But in this age of Mobile /email / whatsapp etc facility being available, the employee can atleast send a message. However in some cases, due to better prospects, strained relationship/ interest to earn other means also, some employees may abstain frequently and or for long periods.

In any case, the Manager should try to contact the employee on the same day or in 1 or 2 days to find out the reason for the ansence. This could be like a courtesy call to show the employer's concern on the employee. If an employee can't be reached say even in 1 week, a show cause notice can be issued calling for his explanation. This depends on standing order of the company. Some companies issue even Chargesheet, initiating Disciplinary action.

The matter has to be dealt cautiously as sometime, good employees also may start disliking the Management if their absence is due to genuine reasons.

For the first time absence for a short time, counselling has to be done, If the employee continues to behave , he should be warned. For the 2nd and 3rd time, besides written warning, cut his salary on the principles of "Nowork- Nopay" Carrot and Stick principle to be applied. Some companies, initiate disciplinary action and issue chargesheet followed by Punishment after due Domestic Enquiry proceedings.

Should you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me


I worked as H.R. Manager in a senior position for 30 years in a large public sector undertaking

From India, Chennai
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