Australian Businesses Suffer from Absenteeism

Nick Burge

6 August 2015    |   

Definition: Absenteeism is the practice of regularly staying away from work without good reason. Everyone is guilty of absenteeism at least some point in their lives. But how do you know when absenteeism is becoming a real problem within your business? How much it is actually costing your business invaluable work time, productivity and money? A survey conducted in November 2014 by Direct Health Solutions, a firm that specialises in reducing workplace absenteeism, found that sick days are costing Australian businesses a record $33 billion in payroll costs and lost productivity. Sick days are not only costing Australian businesses money, they are also being incorrectly recorded. “Absenteeism levels are understated and incorrectly recorded in over 50% of organizations.” “To ensure employers understand the impact and cost of absenteeism to their business, companies need accurate recording and measurement systems in place” said Managing Director of Direct Health Solutions, Paul Dundon. Tanda, an award-winning time and attendance software, is a cloud-based system that helps small and large businesses manage their staff costs. Through the use of our automated time and attendance tracking software, in just a matter of minutes Tanda can calculate the total number of employees who take sick days along with the total cost of lost revenue and productivity due to absenteeism. Tanda offers a complete payroll administration system that allows businesses to manage and monitor time and attendance from any device at any time. The processing of an entire payroll that used to take hours to complete can be processed in a matter of minutes.   You can trial Tanda yourself for FREE to see just how easy it really is to use. We guarantee you’ll never look back.

Definition: Absenteeism is the practice of regularly staying away from work without good reason.

Everyone is guilty of absenteeism at least some point in their lives. But how do you know when absenteeism is becoming a real problem within your business? How much it is actually costing your business invaluable work time, productivity and money?

A survey conducted in November 2014 by Direct Health Solutions, a firm that specialises in reducing workplace absenteeism, found that sick days are costing Australian businesses a record $33 billion in payroll costs and lost productivity.

Sick days are not only costing Australian businesses money, they are also being incorrectly recorded.

“Absenteeism levels are understated and incorrectly recorded in over 50% of organizations.”

“To ensure employers understand the impact and cost of absenteeism to their business, companies need accurate recording and measurement systems in place” said Managing Director of Direct Health Solutions, Paul Dundon.

Tanda, an award-winning time and attendance software, is a cloud-based system that helps small and large businesses manage their staff costs.

Through the use of our automated time and attendance tracking software, in just a matter of minutes Tanda can calculate the total number of employees who take sick days along with the total cost of lost revenue and productivity due to absenteeism.

Tanda offers a complete payroll administration system that allows businesses to manage and monitor time and attendance from any device at any time. The processing of an entire payroll that used to take hours to complete can be processed in a matter of minutes.

 

You can trial Tanda yourself for FREE to see just how easy it really is to use. We guarantee you’ll never look back.

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Punctuality? Challenge accepted!

Tanda is taking punctuality to a whole new level with our Employee Attendance Reports and challenged employees this month to up their game. This was all in celebration of the anniversary of the Time Clock where we had a Bundaberg Rum giveaway prize to the lucky winner. Congratulations to Liz from Clement Coffee in Victoria, Melbourne for being a highly punctual employee! Clement Coffee’s obviously doing something right to create a great workplace atmosphere where employees don’t want to be late for work! Did we just gamify employee attendance? From a business point of view, every manager would love to see their employees get actively involved in turning up to work on time. Now with great accuracy using data from Tanda’s time clocks, businesses can track the exact times an employee clocks in and out, but also generate a report to see staff punctuality stats. Knowing this kind of information adds all kinds of value, especially to those dreaded performance reviews. Businesses with multiple departments/locations can even compete and compare scores at monthly meetings. Existing Tanda users can access the Attendance Reports already. Not using Tanda yet? Sign up for an account today.

Awards & Rostering    |   

Why is it so hard to pay people correctly?

Most people never have to worry about the payroll compliance process required to get someone paid. It’s not a hugely riveting subject; I mean, staff go to work, they work, they get paid. However, as Fair Work’s list of big companies failing to pay legal wages continues to grow, society is starting to wonder why is it so hard to pay people correctly? For the past three years we have made it our business to know the intricacies of payroll, and how to build software which automates the complexities of getting people paid. Currently calculating over $500 million in casual and part-time wages each year, we’re an advocate for those who have the best intention and efforts to pay their staff correctly. With each new wage rate transgression I’m reminded of an old industry saying, “a good payroll officer is somebody nobody knows.” An understanding that attention is only paid to your payroll when there are errors, under-payments or the pay is late. What most don’t realise is that behind a simple payslip are legal questions covered with grey and varying shadows of complexity. Australia is routinely identified as one of the most complex countries to run payroll in, with workforce administration, payroll compliance requirements and regulations identified as the major complicating factors. Far from magic, the time and expertise required to calculate some pay could convince any seasoned mathematician to hang up their wand. In total, Australia has 122 Modern Awards with an average Award having between 180-200 individual rules. These rules specify pay rates for overtime hours during the week and weekend, overtime for RDO, public holidays, late night shifts and employee classification, just to name a few. For big brands and large groups, these calculations are often decentralised, leaving the responsibility to those at ground level without the necessary incentive or knowledge for strict adherence. Broadly, for those who had identified systemic issues, they simply didn’t know how to begin to resolve them. Read a Modern Award document cover to cover, and you’ll empathise with small business owners and executives who might simply not understand the problem, let alone how to guarantee organisational wide compliance. So yes, payroll compliance is hard, complex and costly, but does this excuse paying below minimum entitled wages? Unfortunately not. Complexity is no excuse for non-compliance. It’s the responsibility of businesses, of all sizes, to properly comply with the law. Rather than being loose with interpretations, the answer is to invest in solutions that incentivise and reward compliance management whilst reducing the regulatory burden. Fair Work are unlikely to slow in their mission to bring uncompliant businesses to light, so it’s time for businesses to get smarter about how they manage their workforce and compliance responsibilities. Being smarter and more innovative is the only way to control labour spend in the productive, high-wage workplaces of the future. It’s time to use wage compliance management as a competitive edge. Our company is passionate about building solutions to help good businesses be more efficient while lifting those struggling under the weight of Australian workplace laws. The solution to this problem, if it wants to be solved, is technology. Sign up for a trial of Tanda Enterprise Edition to significantly improve your wage compliance oversight and labour profitability. Tasmin Trezise is a founder of workforce management software, Tanda, which helps businesses get the most from their workforce.

Industry Insights    |   

The Curious Case of the Million-Dollar Oxford Comma

In one of those situations that almost seems too bizarre to be true, the First Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has handed down a 29-page judgment centered around the absence of a single Oxford comma. Yes, you read that right. This opening, from Circuit Judge David Barron, reflects the almost comical circumstance that has seen the case brought before him. On the surface, the case seems simple enough. Five delivery drivers for the Oakhurst Dairy company have filed suit for unpaid overtime wages. They argue that, as delivery drivers, they were not included in a list of exemptions to Maine’s overtime laws, and that therefore they should have been paid overtime by the company. The company is disputing this. However, this is where the lack of Oxford comma becomes problematic. The wording in the statute takes the form of a list: “The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of” certain materials. Any grammar fanatic can immediately see the problem there. Without the Oxford comma, the sentence can be read that only those who pack for either shipment or distribution of the materials are exempt to the law, and not those who actually distribute the items. However, if the Oxford comma is inserted between the words “shipment” and “or”, the sentence takes on an entirely new meaning: that the distribution of the material – that is, those doing the actual delivering – are included in the list of exemptions. The absent comma means that the statute of law is immediately made ambiguous in its interpretation. This would be laughable if it did not also have serious ramifications. In this case, in the argument over the interpretation alone, we have seen both a hearing – where the judge ruled for the company – and an appeal, which was ruled in favour of the drivers. No less than four judges have been tied up in this case, and both parties have retained legal advice at an undoubtedly significant cost. The original suit was filed in May 2014, meaning that this dispute has been going on for nearly 3 years – and this is before the issue of the actual overtime is argued. The final settlement is yet to be decided, but it could cost the company nearly $1 million in unpaid overtime A 3-year legal battle over the lack of an Oxford comma could see HR managers across the globe scrambling to check on their own processes, to ensure they have their own “t”s and “i”s properly crossed and dotted. And if just one missing comma can produce such a protracted argument, what other potential issues lie in wait, written into the laws of the country and waiting for a keen-eyed grammarian to point them out? How does a little bit of overtime add up to $1,000,000? 6 years of underpayments (statute barred) 10 hours of overtime time per employee per week Approximately 80 Employees $4 underpayment for every hour of overtime worked (50% premium on $8 minimum wage) Total: $998,400 About Tanda Tanda is workforce management software that manages overtime and labor law regulation so that businesses can get the most our of their workforce. 

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About the author

Nick Burge

Nick was formerly part of Tanda's Marketing Team.

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Punctuality? Challenge accepted!

Tanda is taking punctuality to a whole new level with our Employee Attendance Reports and challenged employees this month to up their game. This was all in celebration of the anniversary of the Time Clock where we had a Bundaberg Rum giveaway prize to the lucky winner. Congratulations to Liz from Clement Coffee in Victoria, Melbourne for […]

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Why is it so hard to pay people correctly?

Most people never have to worry about the payroll compliance process required to get someone paid. It’s not a hugely riveting subject; I mean, staff go to work, they work, they get paid. However, as Fair Work’s list of big companies failing to pay legal wages continues to grow, society is starting to wonder why […]

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The Curious Case of the Million-Dollar Oxford Comma

In one of those situations that almost seems too bizarre to be true, the First Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has handed down a 29-page judgment centered around the absence of a single Oxford comma. Yes, you read that right. This opening, from Circuit Judge David Barron, reflects the almost comical circumstance […]

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