Employees miss work for a number of legitimate reasons. Vacation time, holidays, and approved leave don’t count toward the overall absenteeism rate since employers can plan for these absences. It’s the unexpected time off from work that has a significant effect on productivity, workplace morale, and profits. Employers need to gain a measure of their overall staff absenteeism rate before they can ascertain if there is a problem or take steps to rectify it. Employers should use the following to calculate their quarterly employee absenteeism rate.

- Determine the average number of employees during the given quarter. There are a few ways to determine this number. The easiest way is to take the sum of the total number of employees at the start of the quarter and the end of the quarter, then divide that number by two. Employers could also take the total sum of employees at the end of each month of the quarter then divide it by three. A third approach is to total up the payroll deposits for each pay period during the quarter then divide that number by the number of payroll periods. For this example, let’s assume there is an average of 50 employees for the quarter.
- Compute the total number of
*workdays*in the quarter. This number should exclude legal holidays. However, it should include odd days such as additional days when a quarter starts or ends during the middle of the week. Next, employers should multiply the total number of weeks in the quarter by five since there are only five workdays to a week. Then, employers should add the total number of odd days and subtract the holidays. This will provide the total number of workdays during a quarter.- Example: (12 weeks in a quarter x 5 workdays per week) + 4 odd days – 1 holiday = 63 workdays

- Find the total number of available workdays. Employers can do this by multiplying the average number of employees by the number of workdays determined in steps one and two.
- Example: 50 employees x 63 workdays = 3150 available workdays

- Determine how many days the company loses to absenteeism. Employers can do this by using a standard 8-hour workday to factor in fractions of a day. Let’s say an employer’s absence reporting system indicates employees called out sick once per quarter and missed an additional 3 hours per quarter outside of pre-approved vacations days and holidays. Employers would then use the following equation to determine their total number of days lost to unplanned absences.
- Example: (50 employees x 1 sick day) + (50 employees X 3/8 hours missed) = 68.75 workdays lost to absenteeism

- Calculate the quarter’s rate of absenteeism. To determine this number, employers should take the total number of days lost to unplanned absences and divide it by the total number of available workdays then express it as a fraction.
- Example: 68.75 workdays lost / 3150 available workdays = 2.18%

Once employers establish a baseline for absences, they can easily and swiftly notice a steady or sudden increase in attendance problems. Employers can then investigate if the absenteeism problem is company-wide or department-specific. Employers can use such insights to make management changes, redesign tasks, or implement steps to reduce workplace stress. To learn more about reducing absenteeism in your business, contact the experts at Actec.