Promoting an attendance culture: A guide for APS agencies

Last updated: 13 Mar 2014

This page is: current

Section 1: Introduction

This e guide is a revision of the 2006 publication, Fostering an Attendance Culture: A Guide for APS Agencies. It has been renamed Promoting an Attendance Culture: A Guide for APS Agencies. The purpose is to assist agencies identify the causes of unscheduled absences and provide strategies to address them. This part provides the overall context for the companion publication Turned up and tuned in: A guide for APS managers.

This aim of the Promoting an Attendance Culture e guide is to assist agency heads, corporate managers, leaders and individuals to better understand the complex array of issues that influence unscheduled absence, in particular unwarranted unscheduled absences1. The causes of unwarranted unscheduled absence need to be examined carefully within the agency context. There is a need for agencies to examine data and patterns of unscheduled absence to help diagnose problem areas. When addressing identified problems there is a need to be mindful of a range of factors including:

  • organisational factors including leadership and culture
  • issues relevant to groups and teams
  • individual circumstances.

At the highest level, an organisation can influence attendance rates by focusing on leadership, organisational culture and people management practices. Managers may influence attendance rates through management style and practices, team culture, team size and structure, job scope and responsibility, job–design and work flow and co–worker relations. These are all recognised in Turned up and tuned in: A guide for APS managers as important foundations for improving employee attendance and productivity.

This guidance has been prepared in collaboration with the Human Resources (HR) Leaders Forum. The Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission) acknowledges and appreciates the assistance and advice received.

Context

The advice in this e guide is placed within the broader Australian Public Service (APS) legislative and operating context. The APS is open and accountable to the Australian community under the law and within the framework of Ministerial responsibility. The guide should be read in conjunction with the following:

  • the Public Service Act 1999 as amended, and subordinate legislation, including the APS Employment Principles, particularly in relation to fair employment decisions, workplaces that are free from discrimination, patronage and favouritism, and recognising the diversity of the Australian community and promoting diversity in the workplace
  • the current Australian Public Service Bargaining Framework including the commitment to flexible working arrangements as reflected in current agency enterprise agreements
  • legislation such as the Privacy Act 1988, the Fair Work Act 2009, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Regulations 2002, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 and related Codes of Practice and anti–discrimination legislation such as the Age Discrimination Act 2004, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

Types of absence

Employee absence from the workplace is generally categorised as either ‘scheduled’ or ‘unscheduled’.

Scheduled absence

Categories of scheduled leave may include: annual leave, long service leave, maternity leave, parental/supporting partner leave, adoption leave, purchased leave, sabbatical/career interval leave, flex–time and time–in–lieu, jury duty, defence reservist leave, study leave and some categories of miscellaneous leave. This is not intended to be an all–inclusive list. This type of leave is typically approved in advance.

Unscheduled absence

In 2006, after extensive consultation, the Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission) developed the following definition of unscheduled absence for reporting in future State of the Service reports:

Refers to absence from work in recognition of circumstances that can generally arise irregularly or unexpectedly, making it difficult to plan, approve or budget for in advance, and which is inclusive of planned medical procedures.

Unscheduled absence is divided into a number of categories:

  • Personal leave for personal illness or injury (Sick) leave is an absence, regardless of duration, whether paid or unpaid, resulting from an employee undergoing a planned medical procedure or being too sick or injured to work. This category excludes absences related to accepted compensation cases.
  • Carer's leave is an absence, regardless of duration, whether paid or unpaid, resulting from a member of the employee's immediate family or household, for which the employee has caring responsibilities, being sick or injured and in need of care.
  • Compensation leave is an absence resulting from personal injury or disease sustained out of, or in the course of employment (i.e. work related) and accepted by Comcare. The leave includes the total number of days or part–days and the employee is absent from work due to incapacity. It excludes time spent on rehabilitation programs, where rehabilitation takes place at the workplace in paid employment.
  • Specific types of miscellaneous/other is a workplace absence, regardless of duration, whether paid or unpaid, that is taken upon the death of a member of the employee's immediate family or household (bereavement), or to spend time with a seriously ill, injured or dying person who is a member of the employee's immediate family or household (compassionate), or in the event of an unexpected emergency.
  • Unauthorised absence is an absence, regardless of duration, whether paid or unpaid, that given the circumstances is not supported or approved by management.

Regarding planned medical procedures as unscheduled absence is considered to be controversial among some employees and managers as they believe employers and employees can plan for such events. However, as agencies are unable to budget for this it fits within the definition above for unscheduled absence. There is also a risk that medical procedures may lead to longer absences than initially planned.

At best, a service–wide definition will only provide a broad understanding of unscheduled absence across the APS. The causes, trends and patterns of unscheduled absence will vary in each agency, and the collection and analysis of absence data is a critical aspect of continually promoting an attendance culture within an agency.

Section 2: What does the data show?

Over the last decade the median unscheduled absence has been trending upwards, however, this masks substantial variation among agencies.

In 2006–07 the median unscheduled absence rates (calculation based on average days per employee per year across agencies) was 9.4 days per employee. In 2010–11, this had risen to 11.1 days and remained the same for 2011–12. The 2012–2013 State of the Service Report2 reports that unscheduled absence has increased to 11.6 days per employee in 2012–13. The key points are:

  • There is substantial variation in the unscheduled absence rate across APS agencies; this ranged from 4.2 days per employee to 19.9 days per employee.
  • Small3 agencies unscheduled absence rates ranged from 4.2 days to 19.9 days with a median of 10.3 days per employee.
  • Medium agencies unscheduled absence rates ranged from 7.5 days to 18.9 days per employee with a median of 12.1 days per employee.
  • Large agencies unscheduled absence rates ranged from 8.2 days to 16.0 days with a median of 13.7 days per employee.

Median sick leave rates

The median sick leave rate across APS agencies in 2013 was 8.6 days of sick leave per employee, which is a slight increase on last year (8.5 days). However, in 2006–07 the median average rate of sick leave was 7.3 days per employee.

Trends in unscheduled absence

Unscheduled absence is routinely reported in the State of the Service Report; over the past five years, there has been an increase in the median rate of sick leave and total unscheduled absence rates in the APS. Thirty–eight agencies reported a reduction in their average unscheduled absence rate in 2013, while 57 agencies reported an increase. Analysis in the 2012–13 State of the Service Report shows that the change in absence rate is typically unrelated to whether the agency had a high or low leave usage rate in 2012, suggesting that the explanation of these changes is specific to each agency.

Section 3: Impact of unscheduled absence—why does it matter?

Researchers have typically focused on unscheduled leave when considering absence. This is because it is considered to be the most disruptive form of time away from work. Historically, it has also been the form of leave most prone to abuse—that is, being used for reasons other than the purpose for which it is intended, such as taking a ‘sickie’ when not genuinely suffering from personal illness or injury4.

For those genuinely taking personal leave, the 2013 Direct Health Solutions5 Survey Report on Absence Management and Wellbeing found that the most common reasons for absence are short term colds/flu and infections, gastric conditions, headaches, and carers leave.

Supporting employees with genuine illness and caring responsibilities is an important element of employment in the APS. Conversely, high rates of absence are costly and impact on individuals, business units and the organisation as a whole. Additionally, it may have a negative impact on performance. High levels of absenteeism may also damage the credibility of the APS.

The cost of absence

One challenge in considering the impact of unscheduled leave on workplace productivity is the extent to which absence is a cost to the organisation. For example, determining the cost of sick leave is complex. Clearly sick leave represents a loss in productivity. However, a sick employee taking appropriate time off from work may minimise productivity losses that would otherwise be incurred, such as prolonging the recovery period or, if infectious, attending work and causing others in the workplace to become ill. The challenge for managers is minimise the potential causes of illness or injury inherent in the workplace while minimising unwarranted absences by employees not genuinely ill or injured. The available data does not permit an estimate of the extent to which sick leave useage (or attendance while ill) in the APS is unwarranted.

Access to sick leave may have less impact on productivity than working while sick. Moreover, the impact on agency cash outlays is not straightforward. This might result in financial cost if the workforce needs to be larger to absorb the productivity losses of high sick leave useage (for example, in a call centre where workload is externally driven and cannot be rescheduled by employees). In general, however, small variations in sick leave useage may lead to re–prioritisation of work rather than increased cash outlays. The reverse is also true. If an employee does not take sick leave (that is the organisation's sick leave is reduced) there are not necessarily direct financial ‘savings’. Rather, if the reduction in sick leave is due to improved health of the workforce there will be gains to the employee and a capability and capacity gain for the organisation, but not necessarily direct financial ‘savings’6.

Section 4: Promoting an attendance culture

Promoting an attendance culture requires understanding the causes of unscheduled absence and the related concept of presenteeism7. This requires looking at workplace indicators. Because of the previously mentioned diversity in absence rates across the APS, agencies need to consider their own unique contexts before considering appropriate interventions and may need to consider the context at the group/team unit level. Not all strategies will work in all contexts.

Issues influencing attendance and absence

The ‘Turned Up and Tuned In’ model developed in 2006 is based on a process model developed by Steers and Rhodes in 19788 and identifies three major influences on attendance:

  • Ability9: illness or injury
  • Barriers: non–work related factors (e.g. carer responsibilities, emergencies etc.)
  • Motivation8: Attitudes and behaviours associated with a lack of motivation to attend (e.g. low job satisfaction, non–commitment to the organisation, workplace tension or individual work ethic).

The ‘Turned Up and Tuned In’ model provides an analytical framework to help agencies identify possible underlying causes of absence and promote a culture of attendance within their agency context. It identifies the factors that influence workplace attendance. Some of these occur at the individual level and are largely beyond the control of the organisation. However, they may still be influenced by line managers. Other factors can be influenced by interventions at the organisation or at the group/team unit level and individuals also have certain responsibilities in managing their own attendance.

The group and team unit is an important level that can contribute to creating a positive attendance culture. The companion e guide Turned up and tuned in: A guide for APS managers is specifically addressed to line managers to assist them in promoting an attendance culture within the contextual environments of their agencies.

Some interventions may be addressed at different levels and can have differing affects. For example, good people management practices may be influenced at the organisation and team unit level. They may affect an employee's work/life balance and their motivation to attend work. Sometimes an organisation may need to change its practices. In other cases an organisation may have appropriate workplace practices in place; however, there may be a need for improvement at the group/team unit level in how they are applied.

The following table summarises the issues that influence attendance and absence at the organisation, the group and team level or the individual.

Issues influencing attendance and absence
Organisation (Leadership and Culture)Issues at the group and team levelIndividual circumstances
The factors identified in the above table are consistent with the ‘Turned Up and Tuned In’ model. Some of these factors are discussed below.
LeadershipManagement style and practices, including people management practices and practices promoting a healthy and safe workplaceSense of responsibility
CultureTeam culturesSelf organisation
People management practicesTeam size and structureCommitment to organisation, team, manager, role
Workplace practices promoting healthy and safe workplacesJob scope and responsibilityWork/life balance
Workplace practices promoting employee engagementJob design and workflow 
Workplace practices promoting productivity while minimising presenteeismCo–worker relations 
 Examples set by others 

People management practices

At the organisation level, people management policies and practices may promote attendance when employees are genuinely able to attend. These include:

  • establishing expectations during induction and orientation
  • developing a performance culture through regular ongoing feedback and focusing on those characteristics known to motivate performance
  • building on skills and capabilities through meaningful learning and development opportunities which support employees to feel competent and confident in their jobs
  • providing employees with varied and meaningful tasks which show clear links to the contribution to organisational goals.

Good people management practices at the organisation level underpin practices at the group and team unit level.

Healthy and Safe Workplaces

Healthy and safe workplaces are designed to prevent harm and promote health and wellbeing while improving the attendance of employees. Factors associated with unhealthy or unsafe workplaces may affect all three major influences on attendance—ability to attend, barriers to attendance and motivation to attend.

At a high level, organisations can focus on strategies to promote healthy and safe workplaces that may have a material influence on the level of employee absence. These policies need to be mindful of agency contexts and work outcomes. They may include a range of flexible workplace practices. Other programs include Employee Assistance Programs, and programs focusing on mental health, exercise, diet, alcohol, smoking, and workplace assessments. There is evidence that these programs contribute in a material way to the management of employee absence11.

According to Comcare12, although fewer in number than physical injury claims, psychological injury claims are a significant driver of the costs of workers compensation. Costs of psychological injury claims are considerably higher than other injuries because they tend to involve longer periods of time off work and higher medical, legal and other claim payments.

Organisations can influence these costs through a focus on prevention and early intervention, such as by training managers to recognise the early warning signs of psychological distress. For further information see Comcare's Working well: An organisational approach to preventing psychological injury and the joint Australian Public Service Commission and Comcare guide Working together: promoting mental health and wellbeing at work.

This is an area where appropriate strategies at the organisation level and good management at the line management level can have a positive impact on the level of unscheduled absence. However, it is not sufficient for agencies to have strategies in place if line managers are not mindful of using them when appropriate. Effective training and on boarding of new managers is critical to their appropriate use of the available tools. Similarly, support from HR areas in the form of the collection and analysis of absence data together with appropriate, targeted absence management strategies are all critical.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement can be influenced at both the organisation and management level and has been shown to be related to APS employee use of personal leave for employee illness or injury13. The creation of a culture where employees are engaged and committed to the organisation and its leadership may contribute to reduced absences.

The Commission defines employee engagement as the relationship employees have with four elements of their work: the job they do daily; the team with whom they work; their immediate supervisor; and the agency they work for.

Organisations can influence employee engagement through the use of appropriate workplace strategies and subsequently measure whether there are any changes in rates of unscheduled absence.

Surveying employees can give valuable insight into employee engagement and other issues that may influence their motivation to attend work. These may also include factors that can be influenced by managers such as management style and practices, team cultures, team size and structure, job scope and responsibility, co–worker relations and employees' commitment to the agency, team, manager and role.

Presenteeism

Broadly speaking, presenteeism is defined as the productivity loss that occurs when an employee attends work, but because of an illness or injury, is not fully productive. Research has shown that employees who are not well are also more prone to injuries and, if contagious, increase the risk of other employees contracting an illness. The evidence suggests that the total impact of illness or injury on productivity is significantly greater than that captured by absenteeism. An ongoing body of work conducted on behalf of one of Australia's largest health insurers has shown that productivity losses associated with presenteeism across the economy can be up to four times as much as losses from absenteeism8.

The 2012–13 State of the Service Report found that of those who were at work in the fortnight previous to the employee census despite being ill or injured, 60% reported experiencing some degree of lost productivity. Interestingly, this also means that just over 40% of the workforce who reported they attended work while ill or injured felt that they did not lose productivity because of their illness or injury. This result highlights the complex nature of the relationship between employee wellbeing and productivity and suggests that individual employee decision making plays a substantial role in determining the impact of health and wellbeing outcomes in the workplace15.

Evidence suggests that line managers may influence presenteeism. While reducing the use of unwarranted unscheduled leave is important, it is also important that managers pay attention to the performance of their staff when at work and minimising presenteeism (whether through ill-health or other distractions).

Survey results from a large private sector employer, Gilbreath and Karimi16 examine how supervisor behaviour influences employee behaviour, in particular the important role that supervisors can play in supporting employee productivity. The study identified significant positive supervisor behaviours that may affect employee presenteeism levels. These include supervisors helping employees to keep their work in perspective to maintain a work–life balance. This research supports the important role of managers and supervisors in developing a culture where employees are both motivated to make responsible decisions about when to attend work and to be productive when at work (see the Turned up and tuned in: A guide for APS managers).

Measuring absence—diagnosing trends and problem hotspots

To understand whether unscheduled absence rates are having a negative impact on or reflecting unhealthy aspects of an organisation, they should be viewed in the context of a range of organisational performance indicators. These could include turnover rates, reasons for leaving an agency, employee engagement levels, work outcomes, service level standards and usage of employee counselling programs.

Collecting and reporting data on the patterns and extremes of absence are essential to determining if an actual problem exists. Absence trends and hot spots can also inform strategies for intervention. This is highly contextualised and the need for agencies to pay attention to data analysis in their specific context cannot be underestimated.

Monthly or quarterly reporting provides an insight into fluctuations and trends, as does a breakdown of data by business unit level, leave type and number of days. The formula used in the State of the Service Report for reporting on unscheduled absence is simply:

Number of days of absence / Number of staff

This gives the average number of days of unscheduled absence per employee. The Commission reports this figure for agencies on all five types of unscheduled absence in both an aggregated and disaggregated form17. Agencies may wish to monitor each of these categories separately and determine the appropriate strategy as indicated by their unscheduled absence evidence.

Absence data can also be viewed in the context of employee satisfaction and exit surveys, retention rates, and the rate and use of counselling services to identify underlying factors. If particular hot spots are identified, direct consultation with employees about the leave rates may also yield valuable insights.

Such investigations may also reveal the need for longer term cultural change which may require action at the systemic organisation level. The analysis is also likely to show which management practices could be revised in the short term to address problematic rates, and those that will assist in bringing about longer term change. An approach to targeting interventions is discussed in the next section.

Section 5: Interventions—targeting areas of greatest impact

The degree to which unscheduled absences are symptomatic of individual, managerial, organisational or other factors, will vary considerably between agencies, as will the degree to which the absence is unwarranted or avoidable. The key to designing interventions that are well targeted and effective is recognising that the causes of unscheduled absence are complex and interrelated and taking the appropriate steps to identify the contributing factors.

As mentioned in the previous section, analysis will be needed to assess if high rates of unscheduled absence are indicative of a real problem and to assess the actual causes of the absences.

There is no ‘quick fix’ to addressing unwarranted unscheduled absence. It is necessary for individual agencies to address specific causes of this type of absence by adopting targeted strategies and interventions. These measures may focus on improving leadership, culture or people management policies where an underlying factor causing unscheduled absence is identified. Interventions may also reflect a combination of improved policies and practices which allow employees to respond to emergency and unplanned situations as they arise. Such policies and practices need to be integrated in such a way that line managers can effectively apply people management practices within their specific contexts.

In addition, if agencies are experiencing high rates of absenteeism where employee engagement is identified as an underlying factor, strategies which target the motivation of employees are likely to have an impact.

By focussing on three core areas—leadership, organisational culture and people management practices, agencies can develop a culture of engagement and performance. To do so, however, strategies and interventions need to be underpinned by good leadership and management skills at every level in the organisation.

There are three areas where gains could be made in influencing attendance. They are:

  • focussing on absence management via a coordinated absence management strategy
  • implementing a range of people management policies and practices that aim to motivate attendance (see People management practices)
  • supporting and developing managers to deal with a range of absence situations (see People management policies).

Absence management strategies

Absence management strategies need to emphasise prevention of unwarranted unscheduled absence. They should also provide support to those who are genuinely ill or injured and assist their return to work. Avoidable absence may be reduced through the application of more flexible working arrangements which allow an employee to meet their personal responsibilities (e.g. caring, legal) while also meeting work responsibilities.

Effective absence management requires a coordinated approach involving supervisors, senior managers, human resource management, employees and health and safety professionals.

To be effective, absence management strategies need to be clear, fair and well–communicated policies, supported by senior and line management. Setting the right tone and sending the message that the agency is focussing on the issue can sometimes be sufficient to reduce unscheduled absence rates.

A well–rounded approach typically has the following elements:

  • a clear statement of the organisational expectations and approach to managing absence
  • an understanding of the underlying causes of absence within the organisation, appreciating the impact of culture, practices and leadership
  • a focus on prevention
  • identification of the short and longer term practices needed to address those causes
  • clearly defined roles and responsibilities for line managers, human resource areas, health and safety professionals and employees
  • a balanced view (i.e. support for genuinely sick or injured employees whilst deterring unwarranted absence)
  • developing the capabilities required by line managers to actively address unwarranted absences.

In 2012–13 the most widely used strategies were those focussing on raising awareness of health and well–being issues that might have an impact on unscheduled absence and promoting a balanced and supportive culture around workplace absence. Those that were least widely used were the implementation of practices to understand the causes of workplace absence (56% of agencies had a strategy covering at least part of their organisation) and monitoring of absence trends and building an understanding of the underlying causes of employee absence (60% of agencies had a strategy covering at least part of the organisation). Agencies experiencing high absence rates or rates that are trending upwards may need to consider widening the range of strategies currently used.

At a Human Resources Leaders Forum held in August 2012, those in attendance highlighted a range of absence reduction strategies that worked well in their agencies. Common themes are shown in the box below:

Have a one on one discussion between a manager and an employee about the issues that may be causing absences.

When absent, an employee must ring their manager (not email or text) and speak in person.

Measure and make level of attendance data visible at a manager, branch, and team level. Make a management Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that is actually discussed in performance reviews.

Reports include profile of highest to lowest absences by individual. The Executive takes an active interest in this information. A Human Resource monthly report is automated through SAP for SES.

Managers can see flex records and other leave types. Benchmark statistics are provided. This has helped reduce the absence record. Work Health and Safety managers proactively look at statistics and question managers. Colour coding is used on reports. Flex Sheet reporting is linked to personal leave for personal illness or injury reporting.

Reducing leave entitlement from up front to monthly distribution.

Source: HR Leaders Forum 22 August 2012

Caution needs to be exercised in using these strategies more generally as each agency has a unique culture and what works in one agency may not work well in another. Enterprise agreements may also place constraints on the use of some strategies.

People management policies

Good people management is a key driver of employee performance, engagement and attendance. There is some scope for managers to influence employee motivation to attend work through their management practices. Managers can improve the experiences of employees through effective recruitment, performance management practices, feedback and promoting a collaborative workplace culture.

Managers' efforts need to be backed by organisational support. As mentioned previously, with the right skills and capabilities, managers are well placed to address unwarranted unscheduled absences. Agency human resource areas need to ensure that managers have the skills required to manage employees effectively.

Regarding unscheduled absence, managers need to:

  • take a proactive approach to managing absence, raising concerns with employees if patterns of absence begin to emerge
  • understand and apply leave provisions correctly
  • consider flexible employment arrangements where appropriate
  • guide longer term absentees through a return to work process in conjunction with Human Resources
  • create a supportive and rewarding environment where employees are engaged and motivated to attend work
  • maintain the privacy and confidentiality of individuals.

The companion e guide Turned up and tuned in: A guide for APS managers provides specific advice for line managers. However, agencies also have a role to play.

Agencies can support line managers by:

  • providing education sessions on agency policies and expectations, either at induction or as part of refresher courses on people management responsibilities and strategies
  • training managers in interpreting and approving leave provisions, and reviewing absence data
  • including absence management in performance agreements, focusing on strategies and people management
  • providing support for issues beyond a manager's expertise (e.g. case management for long term absentees and referral pathways for social work, medical or psychological services)
  • building manager capabilities focussing on management responsibilities, strategies for dealing with absences, return to work interviews, referral pathways, when and how Human Resource areas become involved, and taking disciplinary or underperformance action
  • providing regular reports on absence rates as a way of highlighting problems and reinforcing their management role
  • providing coaching and advice from Human Resources areas and senior managers.

Section 6: Conclusion

The first step to effectively manage unscheduled absences is to identify, analyse and understand absence data and trends. This will inform the design of strategies to address the underlying factors impacting on the motivation of employees to attend work, their ability to attend work or barriers to attendance.

Targeting strategies and action will achieve the greatest gains in dealing with problematic unscheduled absence rates. Over a sustained period, key approaches may include: implementing effective people management practices which attract, encourage and retain motivated people; leadership commitment to addressing unscheduled absence; and absence management strategies built around specific agency strategies.

In addition to preventative measures, proactively addressing situations as they arise is likely to have the greatest impact on unscheduled absence issues. Training, support and advice for managers are critical as they play a pivotal role in managing absence. Through a balanced approach of preventative and proactive measures, agencies can work towards creating a work environment where employees are motivated to attend work.

The companion e guide Turned up and tuned in: A guide for APS managers is a guide to assist line managers to maximise employee attendance.


Footnotes

1 APS employees are provided a range of leave types for specific purposes. When leave is taken on grounds which do not meet the specific purpose for which the leave is granted this is considered unwarranted leave.

2 Australian Public Service Commission, State of the Service Report 2012–13, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2013, pp 270–271.

3 The Australian Public Service Commission definition of a small agency is one with 250 or fewer employees, a medium agency has 251–1,000 employees, and large agencies are those with more than 1,000 employees.

4 P. Riedel et al, Labour Absence and Family Responsibilities: A multivariate analysis, Managing Absenteeism: Analysing and Preventing Labour Absence, Industrial Research Series Number 18, Commonwealth of Australia, 18 February 1995, p. 203.

5 Direct Health Solutions, Absence Management and Wellbeing Survey 2013, p. 22.

6 Australian Public Service Commission, State of the Service Report 2012–13, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2013, pp 85-86.

7 See Presenteeism

8 R. Steers and S. Rhodes, ‘Major influences on employee attendance: A process model’, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 63, no. 4 (1978)), p. 401.

9 R. Steers and S. Rhodes, ‘Major influences on employee attendance: A process model’, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 63, no. 4 (1978)), p. 401.

10 R. Steers and S. Rhodes, ‘Major influences on employee attendance: A process model’, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 63, no. 4 (1978)), p. 401.

11 S.H. van Oostrom, M.T. Driessen, et al, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD006955. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD006955.pub2. p. 2

12 See Comcare

13 Australian Public Service Commission, State of the Service Report 2010–11, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2011. p. 32

14 Econtech, Economic Modelling of the Cost of Presenteeism in Australia, Medibank Private, 2007

15 Australian Public Service Commission, State of the Service Report 2012–13, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2013, pp 86-87.

16 B. Gilbreath and L. Karimi, ‘Supervisor Behaviour and Employee Presenteeism’, International Journal of Leadership Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, 2012, pp 114–132.

17 See: Unscheduled absence