Skip to main content

Several factors are relevant to job design and correlate with lower absence rates including types of work, rest breaks and rewards.

Types of Work, Level of Interest and Repetition

With regard to job design, let’s review the nature of the working environment.  Are there physical hazards that impact the safety of employees?  This could include the air quality, safe work pathways, compliance with hygiene regulations, and exposure to irritants, just to name a few.  Certain types of work will be inherently more dangerous than others.  For example back injuries are the primary cause of sickness related absences.  Therefore industries that involve heavy lifting will incur greater absenteeism.

Interest also impacts the rate of absenteeism.  Repetitive jobs are the hardest to consistently staff due to worker boredom.  Breaking up and redistributing repetitive tasks as well as offering incentives help to decrease absence in repetitive jobs can increase workplace attendance.

Rest Breaks

Rest breaks are mandated by law in the UK in the following ways.  Workers are entitled to 20 minutes of rest during a workday that is at least 6 hours long.  Also they are entitled to 11 hours of rest between their working days.  Each week, workers are due 24 hours of rest and every two weeks they are entitled to 48 hours of rest.  However, employers do offer more frequent and longer breaks with special consideration to employees who are in repetitive jobs that present a high level of safety risk.

Staff morale and engagement increase when staff are well rested and refreshed.  Productivity also improves and there is a greater atmosphere of motivation in the workplace.


There are several reasons to introduce reward at work and various ways in which to do it.  The key is to choose incentives that have value to employees.  Some companies offer the opportunity to earn points toward tangible items, time off, concert tickets, services, electronic devices and even paid vacation.  Other companies offer scheduled time off for perfect attendance.  The key is to introduce and tailor initiatives by employee response and implement the systems that best improve the level of attendance.

Behind all of this, a strong system is needed to monitor employee attendance.  For information on our Holiday Scheduler or for a free trial download, contact MTIS.