Is your business battling the sick leave surge? Try these 3 tips - Wageloch


Is your business battling the sick leave surge? Try these 3 tips

The impact of sick leave on Australian businesses is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, absenteeism is estimated to cost the economy around $33 billion in lost productivity every year!

If that weren’t bad enough, absenteeism rates in May were around 50% higher than average (according to SME payroll data collected by MYOB) – thanks to social distancing and lockdowns leaving few of us immune to colds and flu.

Just take a look at the sick leave levels for each state and territory:

  • Western Australia: 81% above average
  • Australian Capital Territory: 70% above average
  • Northern Territory: 63% above average
  • Queensland: 59% above average
  • South Australia: 54% above average
  • Tasmania: 53% above average
  • Victoria: 49% above average
  • New South Wales: 45% above average

The big question every Aussie business should be asking now is: how can I best manage workplace sick leave and absenteeism – and minimise its impact on my bottom line?

Tip #1: Automate sick leave

If you’ve been putting off moving to an automated workforce management system – or changing to one that’s a better fit for your business – now is the time.

While it might seem like too much hard work to set up or migrate, a platform like Wageloch can be configured to match your workplace and integrated into your existing systems. Plus, our help desk is always available for training and support.

After that, it’s easy to see who’s off on sick leave alongside your rosters, timesheets, pay levels and more – which takes away the need for an annual leave calculator. You can also set leave caps and access a range of other handy time-saving features.

Tip #2: Dig deeper

It’s clear that colds and flu are rampant right now – and are the main causes for increased sick leave across the country. But often, absenteeism stems from something else as well, like caring for ageing parents or struggling with stress.

Left unmanaged, not only does this impact the individual employee’s health and wellness, it can also have a significant impact on team morale and productivity as more people are left to take on the extra workload – which may mean they end up taking more sick leave too. You can see how quickly this can spiral out of control and significantly impact your business.

So as a first step, try to figure out what’s prompting your staff to take more sick leave. Once you know the problem, it’s much easier to fix – and help your employees return to work.

Tip #3: Rethink your staffing

Something that might be worth thinking about right now is your ratio of casual to permanent employees. While you save on paying leave to casuals, they also have the right to decline a shift or resign without notice – leaving you in the lurch.

If you’re struggling to find staff – especially with rising sick leave levels – you might want to consider bringing on more permanent part-time staff for stability’s sake.

Within Wageloch, you can easily track staff costs in real time to see where you might be able to make some changes. This helpful feature also gives you greater visibility and control over the day-to-day running of your business.

To see how Wageloch makes managing sick leave easy for you and your team, book a demo with our friendly team in Australia today.

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