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ABSENTEEISM AN OVER VIEW

Definition : Absenteeism has been variously defined by different authorities: According to WEBSTER"S Dictionary "Absenteeism is the practice or habit of being an absentee and an absentee is one who habitually stays away". According to Labour Bureau, Shimla, "Absenteeism is the total man shifts lost because of absence as a percentage of the total number of man shift schedule to work". According to Encyclopedia. "Absenteeism is the time lost in industrial establishing by avoidable or unavoidable absence of employed."

Meaning

"Absenteeism" refers to failure on the part of the employees to the report work though they are scheduled to work. In other words unauthorized absence constitute absenteeism. Absenteeism is computed in terms of percentage. Absenteeism costs money to the organization besides reflecting employee's dissatisfaction with the company. The absenteeism may be avoidable and unavoidable. Absenteeism is unavoidable when the employees himself falls sick / when his dependent at home suddenly becomes unwel 1 / when an accident takes place within the plant premises. Unavoidable absenteeism is accepted by Manager is even sanctioned by the "Labour Laws."

Avoidable absenteeism arises because of night shifts opportunities for moon lighting and earning extra income indebt ness and lack of job security, jab dissatisfaction and unfriendly supervision. This requires supervision from the management.

PECULIAR FEATURES OF ABSENTEEISM On the basis of micro studies undertaken in different parts of the country, certain observations may be made : 1. The rate of absenteeism is the lowest on payday. It increases considerably on the days following the payment of wages and bonus. The level of absenteeism is comparatively high immediately after the paydays when workers feel like having a good time. In the incidence of absenteeism both before and after a holiday, has also been found to be higher than that on normal days. 2. Absenteeism is generally high among the workers below 25 years of age and above 55 years of age. The younger employees are not regular and punctual presumably because of the employment of a large number of newcomers among the younger age group, while the older people are riot able to withstand the strenuous nature of work. 3. The rate of absenteeism varies from department to department within* a unit-. The department in which there is a few workers are employed and the physical conditions are better than in other departments, the rate of absenteeism is comparatively high. 4. The percentage of absenteeism is generally higher in the night shift than in day shift. This is so because workers in night shift experience greater discomfort and uneasiness in the course of their work s than they do during daytime.

5. The percentage of absenteeism is much higher in coal and mining industries than in organized industries. 6. Absenteeism rate is also higher in female workers than in males. 7. Absenteeism is also seasonal in nature especially in the rainy season when the employee's workplace is far off and may be unable to reach to his scheduled job. 8. In India, absenteeism is highest during March-April-May when land has to be prepared for sowing and also in the harvest season specially October, when the rate goes high as 40%.

MAGNITUDE OF ABSENTEEISM The rate of absenteeism is expressed as the percentage of man days lost through the absence to total number of man days scheduled during the given period :No. of man days lost through absence Absenteeism
NO.

= XlOO

of man days scheduled to work

The rate varies from 7% to nearly 30%. The extent of absenteeism may differ from industry to industry, place to place and occupation to occupation, it may be extensive in a particular department of an industry or a concern. There has been a phenomenal rise in absenteeism in some industries since last few years, because of unauthorized absenteeism.

EFFECT OF ABSENTEEISM It is harmful to both employees and workers: i. ii. Normal workflow in the factory is disturbed and overall production goes down. Difficulties are found in executing orders.

iii.

Casual workers may have to be employed to meet the production schedule; such workers are not trained properly.

iv.

Overtime allowances will increase considerably because absenteeism.

of higher

v. vi. vii.

There is an extra pressure of work on their colleagues who are present. workers loose wages for unauthorized absence. Habitual absenteeism may be removed from service causing them great hardship.

GENERAL CAUSE OF ABSENTEEISM According to one line or thought it is due to the lack of commitment on the part of workforce. various empirical studies on the micro level, in India have been conducted to find out the causes, which have contributed to a high percent of absenteeism. In a study under taken on behalf of NTPC, Dr. Bhutani found these causes:-

5-7% on account of genuine personal sickness. 5-7% on account cf genuine family problems. 1-2% on account of bonafide relaxation needed because of overtime work. 5% due to bonafide emergencies. 5% due to social exigencies. 15-20% due to long-term holidays. 5% due to distance from factory. 15-20% due to drunkenness. 5-10% due to earning higher wages in side jobs. 5-10% due to maneuvering for overtime. 5- 7% due to disharmony with the supervisor etc.

Besides these other general causes are :NATURE OF WORK :-

When work is tough and monotonous in nature, the workers get tired physically and mentally. So, he frequently remains absent without information to the employer.

SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES : Social and religious ceremonies divert the employee from the work to social activities.

UNHEALTHY WORKING CONDITIONS : Irritating and intolerable working conditions exist in factories. Heat and moisture, noise and vibrations in the factory, fumes and overcrowding- all of these affect the worker's health, causing him to remain absent for a long time.

INDUSTRIAL FATIGUE : Low wages compel the workers to seek some part time job to earn some side income, nut often it may compel him to remain away from the job.

LACK OF INTEREST : Lack of interest and lack of feeling of responsibility and worthwhile are also fundamental causes of absenteeism.

IMPROPER AND UNREALISTIC PERSONNEL POLICIES :

In most of the cases, unskilled, untrained, illiterate and inexperienced workers are recruited who fails to cope with and adapt themselves to their job and to their industrial environment. These factors generate a frustration in the minds of the workers, which results in low efficiency, low production and unfavourable employeeemployer relationship which in turn lead to long period of absenteeism.

MEASURES TO CONTROL OF ABSENTEEISM PROPER SELECTION : The selection of employees on the basis of communal, linguistic and family consideration should be discouraged or avoided. Right type of people should be employed for various jobs. This will make them feel interested in their jobs.

PROPER ORIENTATION : The new employee should be inducted in such a way that their critical attitude is reduced as quickly as possible to avoid absenteeism from this source.

BETTER WORKING CONDITION : workers some times remain absent due to hard nature of job and bad working conditions. An employer can provide proper working conditions so that the worker may not have industrial fatigue.

IMPROVED COMMUNICATION AND PROMPT REDRESSEL OF GRIEVANCE : Timely illustration and instructions, meetings and counseling are called for improving and filling in the communication gap between the employer-employees.

SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PREVENTION :

Safety at work can be maintained and accidents can be prevented if the management tries to eliminate some personal factors as negligence, over confidence, carelessness, vanity, etc.

CORDIAL RELATIONS BETWEEN SUPERVISORS AND WORKERS : There should be a cordial relationship between the supervisors and the workers to maintain discipline and improve the productivity

DEVELOPMENT OF WORKER'S EDUCATION : This should be so designed as to take into account their educational needs as individual for their personal evaluation; as operatives for their efficiency and advancement.

EFFECTIVE SUPERVISION

:.

Absenteeism can be reduced largely by effective supervision. Supervisor and foreman should be given adequate training to deal with various problems of workers. Absenteeism will be at lower level if supervisors are able to win the confidence of workers.

SECTION SEVEN -

COMPANY' S POLICIES REGARDING LEAVES The company as per the provision of law and settlement will grant to its permanent hourly rated workmen and monthly paid employees following 1 eaves.

EARNED LEAVE (H/R):-

All the permanent hourly rated workmen are eligible to earned leaves with wages as per provision of Factories act and rules. Earned leaves are confuted as under : Every worker who has worked for a period of 240 days or more, are entitled to one day for every 20 days of actual work performed by him during the previous calendar year.

The leave admissible as above shall be exclusive of all holidays whether occurring during or at the either end of the period of leave.

EARNED LEAVES (MONTHLY PAID) : All monthly paid employees are eligible to 30 days privilege leave in a calendar year with accumulation right up to 90 days. The policy and procedure in this matter is as follows :-

Monthly paid staff whose absence on account of L.S., leave without pay, absence and suspension is less than 66 days in a year. Full privilege leave of 30 days. Monthly paid stiff whose absence on account of L.S., leave without pay absence and suspension exceeds 65 days but less than 166 days The leave of 30 days will be reduced at the rate of 1 day every for every 12 days of 1.. S. , leave, absence and suspension. Monthly paid staff whose total absence oil account of L.S., leave, absence and suspension exceeds 166 days.

No privilege leave

The leave admissible as above shall be inclusive of all holidays occurring during the period of leave.

CASUAL LEAVE : All the permanent hourly, piece rated workmen and monthly paid employees shall be entitled to 7 clays leave with wages/ salary non cumulative during the calendar year. All the permanent monthly price employees will also be entitled to 1-day special leave for every festival holiday falling on Sunday.

SICK LEAVE (WITH/WITHOUT PAY) : The hourly rated, piece rated and monthly paid employees shall be entitled to 7 days sick leave with pay in a calendar year, which shall be noncumulative. They may be allowed sick leave without pay. Period of which will depend on the sickness of the employee concern and his previous record. However, it will be on the desire of the management.

SPECIAL CASUAL LEAVE : In certain cases special casual leaves may be allowed. All such applicants will be referred to Personnel Manager for sanction through Divisional Head.

LEAVE WITHOUT PAY : The leave without pay to the employees is granted not exceeding 10 days (except leave without pay for going to Haj may be granted for 2 to 3 months) in a calendar year.

Leave without pay under any circumstances will be granted to employees who leave record is particular poor.

ACCIDENT LEAVE : Accident leave will depend upon the seriousness of the accident. In this period employees will be paid 45 Rs. per day.

REPORTS TO MANAGEMENT : The time-office shall send a daily absentees report every succeeding day to General Manager, Regional Personnel Manager showing number of employees present or absent, under different categories and different classification and also the percentage of absenteeism along with the breakup. The Personnel department shall prepare a report on attendance and other particulars for a month and submit it to G.M. by the 10 th of succeeding month. "Data or fact is the raw material with which research functions". Data is the fundamental of all researches. Data can be classified as primary and secondary data depending upon the source.

In my project primary data has been collected through semi-structured questionnaire and personal interview.

Questionnaire was semi- structured and was prepared by the help of the experts. But the interviewees were not strictly confined only to the questionnaire. They were free

to tell more things or reasons. Some questions were situational and were arisen from the answers of interviewees.

Company has identified 143 absenteeism cases in different departments, which are as follows : -

DEPARTMENT ABSENTEEISM Box filling General Peeling Dipping II. II Line Cha/tibon Packing C.B, Line Maintenance Paper cutting 67 03 08 26 07 05 08 14 03 02

CASES

CONCLUSIONS In the course of my survey, I met the workers of wimco Ltd., BareilIy and I came to the following conclusions:-

Being a public Ltd. Concern, employees feel an unwanted job security and hence it may be a reason for absenteeism.

Some employees are over satisfied because of their prosperity. Their job is not the central interest of their lives. They think that their absenteeism doesn't affect their lives.

Some workers have problems related to their attitude. They think that their absenteeism doesn't affect the production of factory because there are lots of casual workers who in case of their absenteeism do their work.

Workers also put the matter of inadequate wages. It compels them to seek some part time job to increase their financial resources. It results in constant fatigue and consequently they become absent for the next day.

The habit of alcoholism among workers is a significant Cause of absenteeism, which is high in the I5t week, when worker's receive their wages. Hangover the next: leads to absenteeism.

Workers also have dissatisfaction with loan-sanctioning criteria of company, because they have to fulfill many formalities and they do not get money in time. So they are compelled to arrange the money from somewhere, else, consequently they become absent .

About 26% workers suffer from a high degree of indebtedness, because of low wages. They are worried about financial matters and that's why they are indebted. Such workers absent themselves to escape the moneylenders.

Most of the workers belong to the villages. They have to attend various social and religious ceremonies. They also have agriculture and have to look after their fields. At the, time of sowing and harvesting they become absent from work. Some sick and aged workers remain absent from work for the reason; like ill health, chronic disease or old age. In Wimco Ltd., workers work in shifts. Their shift changes every 15 days. Due to their sickness or weak eyesight many workers feel morning shift more comfortable and remain absent during night shift in the course of my survey, I've observed that all the workers are satisfied with working conditions. They have accepted that they have harmonious relationship with their department in-charges.

Rut one thing that: I've observed that the workers are provided inadequate leaves facilities i.e. E.S.I, leave. E.S.I, give the workers the certificate of sickness. Under this scheme, worker's are entitled to 56 days leaves in a year- on half pay. So instead of going without pay, they avail this opportunity.

I think that this is the most significant reason of the absenteeism at Wimco Ltd. , Bareilly.

UNION'S OPINION REGARDING ABSENTEEISM In the course of my project, I met different union leaders to know their opinion regarding absenteeism. This was very essential part of project because workers at wimco Ltd. are very much attached with the union leaders, in each and every matter, they approach the union leaders In many cases of charge sheet, these union leaders

were worker representatives, union leaders have accepted that absenteeism affect o production.

On asking them why they advocate such workers when they think tha it is harmful. "They answered that they have to do it this because worker have belief in them and they don't want to loose their confidence.

Leaders have denied the matter of inadequate wage. They told that the wages on account of capacity of company are adequate. On asking that what they are doing to decrease the rate of absenteeism they said that: they counsel them and tell them the consequences of if absenteeism, it is their moral responsibility .to increase the productive by lowering the rate of absenteeism. ' Union leaders think that this rate can only be decreased by tl efforts of management. Only management can solve worker's grievances a to some extent their personal problems too. Management has to motiva the workers by appraisal, counseling and creating the feeling of recognition This will be helpful in developing the feeling of belongingness in workers.

To sane extent, union leaders also supported the disciplinary actions. Negative reinforcement and fear of change of duty will be very effective.

They have assured that they are with the management in reducing the absenteeism rate and if the management is taking any appropriate measure in this regard, union leaders will favour it.

SUGGESTIONS Looking at the reason of absenteeism, I would like to suggest some measures

that would surely be helpful in curbing absenteeism.

The management should recognize the needs of the workers. Their genuine difficulties- for example, their needs of money at the time of death & family illness should be recognized by the management and it should try to help them in this regard. This will motivate the workers towards organizational objectives. In case of genuine problems only, leaves should be claimed as right. Regularity in attendance can be encouraged to some extent by the offer of a bonus and other pecuniary inducements.

In case of habitual/ continuous absenteeism, management should take appropriate disciplinary action.

Management has put the notices, warnings and has charge sheeted many workers who remain absent. These disciplinary actions should be implemented more strictly. The company should pay a reasonable wages arid allowances taking into account the capacity of industry to pay and the level of wages prevailing in different neighbouring industries.

To some extent the management through counseling can solve personal