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Is the practice of regularly failing to turn up for work. Employees are contractually obliged to be available for work during specified hours, and failure to do so without legitimate reasons (for example, ill health) can result in dismissal. Therefore, the level of absenteeism is monitored closely by most organizations in order to identify employees who are in breach of their contracts of employment. If absenteeism persists, then it is good practice to provide counselling before moving on to any disciplinary procedures. It might be the case, for example, that absence is due to personal or family problems that the employee needs to address, and that given guidance and support a solution can be found. In some circumstances, absenteeism might be a symptom of problems at work—for example, stress, inability to cope, and work overload—which counselling might be able to identify. Given the general tendency for employers to expect greater commitment (see organizational commitment) from their employees, absenteeism is increasingly likely to be viewed as a sign of low commitment and an inappropriate attitude. [See also presenteeism.]

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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