Staff absence, also known as employee absence, is when a member of staff doesn’t come into work as they are scheduled to.
Absence falls into two different categories:
- planned absence — which is requested, agreed, or booked in advance.
- unplanned absence — which is when staff are absent without prior warning or agreement from their employer.
Both can have an effect on a business, but unplanned absence is far more problematic for managers, who have to react quickly to fill gaps in the rota and minimise disruption to their business.
Examples of planned staff absence include:
- Holiday (also known as annual leave)
- Public holidays
- Maternity or paternity leave
- Staff training
- Study leave
Examples of unplanned staff absence, meanwhile, include:
- Compassionate leave
- Unauthorised absence (also known as being AWOL)
Knowing how to manage staff absence is a crucial part of running a business, and managers are advised to make use of all the tools and techniques available to them to minimise the impact of employees failing to show up for work — as well as reducing the strain on other team members when staff make use of their allotted annual leave.