A bonus payment that is dependent on employees attaining an attendance target during the period over which the bonus is calculated. For example, payment of the bonus could be dependent on full attendance or on sickness absence remaining below a set number of days within a monthly or quarterly period. Essentially, these bonuses penalize workers for sickness absence and there is some evidence that their use has increased in recent years as employers have initiated more exacting procedures for the management of absenteeism. They are indicative of a shift towards a more contractual employment relationship in which employers more tightly specify levels of performance and standards of behaviour and tie these explicitly to remuneration. Critics argue that attendance is a requirement of the contract of employment and that employees should not be rewarded extra simply for complying with their contract. In addition such bonuses encourage people to attend work when they are ill, thereby increasing the likelihood of spreading their illness to other employees.
Subjects: human resource management.