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Industrial & Organisational : Introduction : Personnel : Organizational psychology : Occupations: Work environment: Index : Outline

Absenteeism is a habitual pattern of absence from a duty or obligation.

Absenteeism in the workplace

Main article: Employee absenteeism

Frequent absence from the workplace may be indicative of a number of factors including, poor morale or of sick building syndrome, health issues.

However, many employers have implemented absence policies which make no distinction between absences for genuine illness and absence for inappropriate reasons. One of these policies is the calculation of the Bradford factor, which only takes the total number and frequency of absences into account, not the kind of absence. As a result, many employees feel obliged to come to work while ill, and transmit communicable diseases to their co-workers. This leads to even greater absenteeism and reduced productivity among other workers who try to work while ill. Work forces often do excuse absenteeism caused by medical reasons if the worker supplies a doctor's note or other form of documentation. Sometimes, however, in the workforce, people choose not to show up for work and do not call in advance, which most businesses find to be unprofessional and inconsiderate. This is called a no call, no show.

Absenteeism in schools

In schools, frequent unexcused absences are considered to be truancy, and may have substantial legal penalties for both the student and the parents. Frequent absence from school is associated with failing grades, poor performance, disciplinary problems and long term social difficulties. For example, in the United States, it is generally required that students between the ages of six and sixteen attend school. Most schools have approximately 180 days of session, with a fixed number of unexcused truancies allowed. United States students are generally expelled from school and placed in alternative schools if they are continuously absent throughout the year.