Assessing sick leave absenteeism among public sector workers: a case study of nurses at Groote Schuur Hospital: 2012 and 2013
Nursing is a vital part of the health care delivery system, but managers of health care facilities worldwide are increasingly asked to “do more with less”. Nurses are under increasing work pressure and this often manifests in stress and conflict at work and possible absenteeism. Very few researchers have focused on the patterns of absenteeism among different demographics, length of service and occupational strata. The main question this research seeks to answer is: what is the extent and costs of absenteeism amongst nurses and do seniority, length of service and demographic factors matter at Groote Schuur hospital (GSH). Confined to a period of two years, 2012 to 2013, this study draws on a data set of about 1,635 nurses in order to provide a more accurate analysis of sick leave trends showing occupational levels, gender, age, and race. Nurses at GSH are predominantly female and almost 55% of the workforce is classified as “Coloured”. African nurses in general are younger than the Coloured, White and Indian nurses. The research shows that the nurses in age category 60-66 in fact have a better attendance record; but the data shows there is no overall correlation between years of service and absenteeism. The study suggests that contrary to assumed views, absenteeism is well managed at GSH.