Do Employees and Their Children = Absenteeism?

At one time there was someone home all day to tend to the needs of the children but all that’s changed to the extent that having someone home on a permanent basis is more the exception than the rule. The recent labor force includes well over half of all women with children ages 6 to 17 and this factor has an affect on factors in the workforce like staff retention and absenteeism. Business today faces several critical challenges above and beyond the other issues of the working mother. These are:

· An impending labor shortage

· The need for woman to fill in a lager percentage of new jobs

· The decline in productivity that threatens our ability to compete

· The demand that workers be better educated

· The shift form manufacturing to service jobs

Employers need to be able to meet childcare issues in order to meet these other challenges. Staff retention and absenteeism have modified as an issue that the modern business needs to look at due largely to the shift in societal roles. There are two very important considerations here.

The first is that employees are affected by the increased stress caused by trying to hold down full time job and manage the home concurrently, and there is also a real concern over the shortage of quality care for the children that is provided by either the employer or a government agency. Both of these issues can affect the staff retention and absenteeism picture for companies both large and small.

The kind of two career marriages that are common today often involve more than two people. Many of these involve children and other dependants—this is the kind of complication that can cause frustration for an employer as much as for a parent or guardian. One of the bigger issues is the way that dependant issues will affect the rates of staff retention and absenteeism. There are several important areas where employers are in a position to provide both assistance and support.

One of these area deals with parental leave policies and one of the more common of these is the familiar maternity leave. In the United States, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 requires that companies allow for paid disability leave and statistics note that most employees return to work after the allocated six to eight weeks of paid leave.

As well, it’s not often possible for a parent to work the regular hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm without the need for frequent adjustments. There have also been studies that point to the fact that mothers are less productive around the time their children get out of school.

Studies have shown that helping employees with these issues lessens the stress that they feel and thereby helps with the issues of staff retention and absenteeism. One of the options that the more forward thinking companies are exploring is the on site or near site child care centers where employers either choose to run the center themselves or rent the space to a professional organization.

Richard Reid is the founder of Pinnacle Proactive, Specialising in the Employee Assistance Program, Stress Management, Staff Retention & Absenteeism. Take a Proactive Approach to Growing Your Organisation & its People. For more info visit


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