How Much Do Absenteeism and Presenteeism Cost Your Business?

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Absenteeism and presenteeism are different but similar problems that business owners and managers face. Both cost the company money.

Absenteeism is when employees aren’t present at work. Presenteeism is when employees are at work, but just in the system and not actually working. Each problem results in decreased productivity.


  • Goes up when employees aren’t engaged in their work culture.
  • Goes down when companies have a strong attendance policy and implement attendance tracking.


  • Goes up when employees are overwhelmed by a heavy workload.
  • Goes down when management is strong and well-being at work is promoted.

Costs of Absenteeism and Presenteeism

In the United States employees have an average of 5.5 days of unscheduled absences. The absenteeism rate is 3.3%, which costs an average of $1,685 per employee, per year.

Presenteeism costs companies in the US $150 billion per year.

In the UK employees have an average of 10 days of unscheduled absences per employee with an absenteeism rate of 2.8%. This costs companies an average of $668.64 per employee per year.

Presenteeism in the UK costs companies $58.6 billion.

How to Combat Losses from Absenteeism and Presenteeism

  • Understand the financial cost of absences.
  • Promote a work/life balance.
  • Be flexible with PTO.
  • Implement a clear health and sick day policy.
  • Improve work culture and workplace morale.
  • Encourage health and wellness.