Contact Centres Have Highest Absenteeism

A new report by the Small Firms Association (SFA) has shown that contact centres suffer from the highest absenteeism rates.

The new SFA Absenteeism Report 2008 is a wide ranging report on absenteeism throughout the state, detailing the levels and costs of the nation's 'sickies' for small businesses.

According to the report, up to 14 days were lost per employee per year, followed by 11 days in the metals and engineering sector. A total of 5.3 million days were lost to small businesses in the last year.

The report also revealed that small businesses in Ireland lose on average €793 million per annum through its absenteeism.

Avine McNally, Assistant Director of the Small Firms Association and spokesperson for the SFA said: "Minor illnesses are the most common cause for short-term, uncertified absences, while secondary causes are home responsibilities and personal problems."

However, the SFA's study found that companies with fewer than 50 employees have a much better attendance record than bigger firms.

According to Avine McNally "the results show marked differences across sectors and regions, and show that small firms with less than 50 employees, are less likely to have workers absent on sick leave than larger firms".

The national average for absenteeism is 3.5% or eight working days. For large firms this rises to 4.6% or 10 working days. For small firms the average falls to 2.8% or six working days.

Workers in Cork have the worst attendance record in the country at almost five sick days, closely followed by the southeast, the west, and Co Wicklow, while employees at Dublin-based firms take sick days the least often, at three days a year.


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