Important measures which should be taken to control absenteeism in Indian industry!
(i) Management interest:
At present very few managements in India take real interest in controlling absenteeism. Measures to prevent strikes and lock-outs receive far greater attention.
One reason for this situation may be that strikes and lock-outs are more noisy and visible while absenteeism is silent and unnoticeable.
(ii) Check at the time of selection:
At the time of selection it should be kept in mind that there are some people who want to have a job merely for the sake of status. Some others want it because it gives them a ready-made platform for their social and union activities. To still ethers it is a second string to the bow.
Their primary interest is in getting casual jobs outside the factory which give them higher wages. All such persons should be carefully sorted out by probing them at the time of interview.
(iii) Role of Supervisors:
Absenteeism being essentially a problem related to individual behaviour can be better tackled at the immediate supervisor’s level rather than by the staff department. Such tactical methods as supervisors paying visits to a sick worker’s house or a supervisor interviewing and counselling a chronic absentee of his department may prove very effective.
(iv) Safety Programmes:
An effective safety programme can check absenteeism which is due to employment injuries and occupational diseases.
(v) Preventing misuse Employees State Insurance Scheme:
It is generally believed that ESI which is a desirable social security measure is many times misused as a convenient umbrella for concealing feigned sickness. Presented with a medical certificate under this scheme there is relatively very little that the employer can do even if in possession of reasons to suspect validity.
Various kinds of incentive schemes under which bonus or reward is paid to workers for their regular attendance are in force in a large number of organisations in India such as Brooke Bond India Ltd., Calcutta, Carona Sahu Co. Ltd., Mumbai, Escorts Ltd., Faridabad. Geoffrey Manners & Co. Ltd., Mumbai, Hindustan Insecticides Ltd, New Delhi, Ideal Jawa (India) Private Ltd., Mysore, J.K. Chemicals Ltd., Thana, Kirloskar Cummins Ltd., Poona, Murphy India Ltd., Mumbai, The Mysore Iron & Steel Co. Ltd., Bhadravati, Raptakos, Bret & Co., Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, and so on. In Maruti Udyog absenteeism has been appreciably reduced by closing the factory during 2 spells of about a week each, one during winter and the other during summer. Maintenance is done during this period and the remaining 85% of the people go on holiday.
This takes care in a large way of people taking leave now and then. Other measures which have been taken to reduce absenteeism are encashment of unutilised leave at the end of the year, attendance bonus and the stipulation that in the absence of the worker, the supervisor will do the work himself. This puts pressure on the supervisor to direct the workers under him to plan their leave properly.