One issue that can be costly and detrimental to businesses is absenteeism. Companies often walk a fine line with absenteeism because an employee has a legal right to privacy. Companies need to be aware of employment laws to appropriately undertake this costly problem.
As Benefits Interface (n. d.) expressed, tackling the problem of employee absenteeism is best resolved with a systematic approach. Guidelines to analyze and take on the problem should be established before any action is taken. For instance, Benefits Interface suggested to examine employee attendance records to identify patterns of excessive absenteeism. Benefits Interface suggested approaching the employee in a meeting pointing out the employee’s attendance records and give the employee a chance to explain the pattern. After this, counseling and an intervention plan can be offered. If this does not solve the problem, reduced work responsibility and termination of employment may ensue. Positive initiatives have been presented and discussed previously in this course, which have proven to reduce excessive absenteeism by one percent.
However, the biggest challenge is in discovering what the problem is with the employee without violating the employee’s right to privacy. An employee might feel coerced to share personal medical information with an employer to stay employed, but is a violation of the employee’s rights. If an employee is not obligated to share with the employer that he or she has cancer, but is fired for excessive employee absenteeism, this can put a company in compromising positions.
The most enriching part of this course was looking for ways to reduce the problem of absenteeism in positive, proactive ways, and discovering if these initiatives are worthwhile by referring to the research available on the problem, which is a valuable way to ensure good practices and less waste of company resources. I would like to personally develop my knowledge of legal issues a bit more so I have a better working knowledge of legal stipulations I have to honor in working in human resources.
Benefits Interface. (n. d.). Guidelines for Absenteeism Control. Retrieved from http://www.benefits.org/optimize/risk-sharing/attendance-management?showall=&start=2