Managing Absenteeism is a major challenge for HR and Management


  • Is absenteeism hurting your bottom line?
  • Is staffing a challenge due to sickness absence?
  • Is managing employee absence a time-consuming exercise?


There is no doubt that the resurgence of Covid-19 and Cold/Flu related infections is causing significant business disruption through increased levels of absenteeism. We know firsthand at DHS how organisations across multiple industry sectors - from health, to manufacturing, mining, and call centres - are struggling with an unprecedented spike in workforce absence.

DHS clients are reporting staff shortages, tight labour supply, increased wage expectations, higher levels of sickness (including long Covid-19), as the key factors impacting absence in their business.

With the cost of absenteeism 30% higher than in previous years (~$5,000 per employee per annum), it represents one of the greatest challenges HR and operational leaders will face in 2022 and beyond.

Long Covid-19 is of particular concern, given its predicted impacts on longer periods of time off work, more intermittent illness, increased caring responsibilities for family members who are unwell, as well as reduced working hours to accommodate ongoing lingering Covid-19 symptoms.  

Further, the number of confirmed influenza cases, as reported in the 2022 National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NDSS) in Australia, has exceeded the 5-year average.  Most of these reports (82.8%) are Influenza A, which is driving a significant spike in workplace sick leave across the country. 

DHS data analysed across May to June alarmingly shows absenteeism rates well above the seasonally adjusted average. A culmination of winter illnesses, resurgent Covid-19, and a population vulnerable to falling sick because of two years of lockdowns and limited exposure to viruses, is exacerbating the issue.

The DHS core service is a 24/7 Nurse Led Absence Management program designed to simplify absence management in today's environment, whilst providing a self-funded 24/7 health support to your entire workforce. Our program streamlines and centralises the management of absence by offering:

  • A single 1800 number for employees to call
  • Real time notifications to managers and HR (SMS, email)
  • Immediate access to confidential health advice by registered nurses
  • Real time dashboards and live absence trends
  • Fit for purpose technology for managers to track, monitor and manage absence
  • Training, tools and resources to empower people leaders to manage absence
  • Best in class triage advice protocols for accurate symptom assessment and health support

Here is a link to access our full Absence Management Service brochure