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How to fight public sector absenteeism

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Absenteeism in the public sector is a problem that affects efficiency and productivity in several countries across the world, bringing this workforce management issue into greater focus.

A news report published in January explained how a Kuwaiti interior ministry undersecretary made an unannounced visit to a local police station only to find just one police officer, though many more were already clocked on according to their time and attendance records. Kuwait’s recently published Annual Leave Report revealed 50 per cent of state employees were absent from work in a 3-month period, costing the country more than KWD 10.5 million (AUD 46.5 million).

In the same month, a report by Saudi Arabia’s Control & Investigation Board (Shoura Council) revealed that 75,000 government employees were no-shows at their respective workplaces last year. A senior Shoura member urged the government to introduce the fingerprinting system to end the menace of absenteeism.

The Australian public sector also faces the problem of absenteeism with sick days costing NSW taxpayers alone nearly AUD 1 billion a year as the state’s 300,000+ workforce take an average of eight ‘sickies’ a year, according to the Public Service Commission.

Installing a biometric time and attendance system from Mitrefinch Australia is a proven way to stop absenteeism, easily and economically. The clocking device scans the employee’s fingerprint, and converts it into data, making it impossible for others to clock in for any employee. Biometric systems also maintain the employee’s privacy while preventing potential buddy fraud.

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