Absenteeism Statistics Stimulate Debate07-Jun-11
By Hugh McPhail, Q.C., Partner
Statistics Canada’s Work Absence Rates survey results for 2010 were released in May. It leads to some thought-provoking statistics concerning absenteeism i.e. days lost per full-time worker per year.
It is noteworthy that the rate in Alberta is the lowest of the provinces in Canada and at 8.1 it is well below the Canadian average of 9.1. (there were no statistics for the various territories.) Does that mean Alberta workers are more dedicated or healthier or both? What are the other factors that make it so much lower than the Maritimes and Quebec, but also significantly lower than B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba?
Some other statistics appear from a review of the charts that raise even more provocative questions:
Why is the rate of absenteeism so much higher for unionized employees than for those that are not unionized (12.9 versus 7.3)? Why is the rate in the public sector so much higher than the private sector (11.8 versus 8.2)? Why is the national female absenteeism average rate so much higher than males (11.0 versus 7.6)?
How does your workforce fare against these averages?
Whether facing above or below average numbers, individual employers can take steps to reduce workplace absenteeism. If you have an absenteeism problem, it is worthwhile to carefully consider a structured absenteeism management program to improve attendance.