absenteeism

play
noun ab·sen·tee·ism \ˌab-sən-ˈtē-ˌi-zəm\
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of absenteeism

  1. 1 :  prolonged absence of an owner from his or her property

  2. 2 :  chronic absence (as from work or school); also :  the rate of such absence

Recent Examples of absenteeism from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absenteeism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of absenteeism

absentee + -ism


Financial Definition of ABSENTEEISM

absenteeism

What It Is

In the business world, absenteeism refers to the rate at which employees do not arrive for work as scheduled.

How It Works

Company XYZ is a health care provider. It has 25 nurses who are each responsible for seeing 10 patients a day. Every day, one or two nurses are not at work due to vacation or sickness. However, in the past month absenteeism has risen. Now, four or five nurses are often missing for the day, putting a severe strain on the nurses who do come to work, increasing the wait times for patients, and increasing the number of medical errors the nurses are making.

Why It Matters

Absenteeism increases costs and lowers profits because it reduces productivity and often work quality. A similar problem, presenteeism, occurs when employees choose to stay at work but handle personal and family issues at their desks rather than working. Many forms of absenteeism are protected by law (such as family leave under FMLA). Often, however, absenteeism can increase when workers feel stressed. U.S. companies lose billions due to chronic employee absenteeism.


ABSENTEEISM Defined for English Language Learners

absenteeism

play
noun

Definition of absenteeism for English Language Learners

  • : a tendency to be away from work or school without a good reason : the practice or habit of being absent from work or school



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