Work Place Absenteeism – the biggest threat to small-medium businesses

Do you know what the cost of employee absenteeism is?


We all get sick every now and then or might even suffer a workplace injury that requires us to take some time off work to recuperate.

But what happens when ‘time off work’ becomes habitual and happens on a more frequent basis?

Being absent from work doesn’t just result in your workload being delayed for a day or two, rather, it leads to loss of productivity that could cost the company a substantial amount of money.

In Australia, absenteeism is a serious problem. Since 2010, the rate of absenteeism across the country has risen by 7%, while as much as 5% of the Australian workforce calls in sick on any given day.

To put it another way, in a company that employs 20 employees, there will be one absence every single day!

What’s worse is that businesses have come to accept employee absenteeism as a cost of doing business.

If your business was losing customers on a regular basis, you would not accept this as ‘the cost of doing business’. Chances are you would do something about this.

So, why not do something to ensure employee absenteeism doesn’t take hold in your business.

How does a Health and Wellbeing program help reduce absenteeism?


Health and Wellbeing programs are a way to take care of your most important resource – your people.

Health and wellbeing programs are interventions put in place by employers to improve the lifestyle choices and health of workers as a way of preventing chronic illness.*

Health and wellness goes beyond medical system. It isn’t just about avoiding, detecting, or treating illness.

It’s about cultivating optimal well-being so that your people can be the best they can be, regardless of work or family life.

Pro-active  Health and Wellbeing programs include a number of activities designed to encourage healthy lifestyle and wellbeing among your staff.

Included in these programs are employee health screening such as:

  • Pre-employment health checks – conducted at the recruitment phase to identify any health issues that may impact the candidates’ ability to perform the role.
  • Health surveillance – ongoing health checks for employees exposed to particular substances or hazards in the workplace.
  • Employee Lifestyle Assessment – general health checks offered as part of a workplace wellness programme.

We recommend a combination of all three, tailored to suit your size and budget.

Specifically though, the Employee Lifestyle Assessment aims to give an individual a general overview of their health and identify any risk factors.

There are a number of possible approaches such as individual appointments or group information sessions and we can help you decide which would be of greatest benefit for your organisation.

What are the benefits of a Health and Wellbeing program?


Benefits to individuals:


  • Reduced health risks.
  • Improved performance.
  • Better mental health.

Benefits to organisations:


  • Reduced sickness absence levels.
  • Greater staff satisfaction.
  • Reduced turnover of staff.
  • Improved productivity.
  • Improved morale and loyalty amongst employees – health screening demonstrates that employers care about their staff and are dedicated to helping them stay healthy.
  • Improved team-working.


To find out more and how to implement an effective and tailored work place Health and Wellbeing program, Contact WRM today or call us on (02) 9893 1877.