Absenteeism vs Presenteeism


What is it? The proverbial “pulling a sickie” where employees with no real health issue take time off.

Typically, just 1 day, thereby not having to provide a GP advisory note.


The impact is disruption at the workplace, increase in workload for the team, possible conflict when colleagues know you are not ill. This type of absenteeism diminishes the employee’s credibility, commitment to work and may result in pay cuts, missed promotional opportunity and a breakdown of relationship with management.

Where resources are unwell this can be managed using sick leave and supported by the HR department, line management and a doctor’s note / diagnosis.

The net effect is an increase in stress not only for the absentee, but also for the rest of their work colleagues.


Presenteeism is when staff, who work hard and should stay off when ill, do not. It is the silent enemy in the workplace. The cost of being present and non-productive has a bigger impact on the well-being of the workplace and other employees.

Going to work when you are unwell disadvantages your personal health in the first instance and leads you along a path of burnout.

Even though you have been at work you have actually lost a day’s productivity. You have infected / affected other team members and their health and well-being.


You have moved onto the downward spiral of feeling overwhelmed, your coping mechanism is under strain and possibly headed towards a meltdown or burnout.

Costs to consider

Absenteeism – loss equates to roughly £9.4 (2014) Billion Yearly

Presenteeism – loss equates roughly £ 15.1 (2014) Billion Yearly

Calculate your loss to your company:

Cost = [% of work lost to risk factor(s) A and/or B] x [#of at risk employees] x [median compensation of all employees at the company]


Absenteeism – Reduction (among those with poor status


Presenteeism– Reduction


Well-being– Improvement

Get In Touch

Should this be an area where you may require a collaborative approach to find a solution which will improve employee well-being, productivity and cutting cost then contact us for an assessment and future mapping for your workplace: