Workplace absenteeism still a problem – Byer-Suckoo

Productivity levels at workplaces across Barbados have increased over the last four years, but the issue of absenteeism is still a major challenge, said Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, who believes workplace wellness programmes may be helpful in tackling that issue.

“Based on the national surveys on productivity carried out between 2012 and 2016, we recorded the largest growth of 2.7 per cent in 2015, up from 0.2 per cent in 2014. Statistics from 2016 are not yet available, but one of our concerns is that the surveys also showed a high level of absenteeism,” she said during the media launch of this year’s May Day celebrations at the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) Solidarity House headquarters.

“There is also presenteeism, where people show up for work but do not function efficiently.”

While acknowledging that in some instances people were indeed shirking their responsibilities, Byer-Suckoo added that there were many other factors that contributed to absenteeism, such as chronic illness, injury, low workplace morale, child and elder care issues, burnout and stress.

Bearing that in mind, the minister stressed the importance of workplace wellness programmes and commended the BWU for teaming up with stakeholders to develop a National Workplace Wellness Policy.

“Studies in developed countries have reported an increase in productivity, fewer sick days, lower medical costs and improved staff morale and corporate image as outcomes of workplace wellness initiatives,” she pointed out.

Byer-Suckoo added that a prime task for the trade unions was to educate workers and their union officials in productivity approaches and their significance in the workplace.

“Performance appraisal tools must also be negotiated, understood and implemented, not as employers’ tools to be feared, but as tools to benefit all in the organization,” she added.

The minister also reiterated that increased productivity was important for Barbados’ sustainable social and economic development, and said the Social Partners had to move towards creating a culture of productivity “through the promotion of productivity interventions and performance management”.

The theme for this year’s May Day celebrations is GETUP – Getting Everyone To Understand Productivity.

4 Responses to Workplace absenteeism still a problem – Byer-Suckoo

  1. jrsmith April 27, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Its simple you work for your supper , an honest days pay for a honest days work , what did people expect to happen , not only in barbados but in black countries where the people is non productive and lazy, the so and hits the fan one day……………..
    Just see how black people behave by easily falling in line if they want to keep a job in the (UK) for instance this is what I have seen , as being in management for at least 3.5 decades , in other words you work for your supper , jobs black people do in the (UK) they wouldst do in they home lands …………………………………..

    I use 3 different banks , you go to bank there is a queue , in the (UK) give yourself 15 to 20 minutes, in barbados you take coffee and sandwiches waiting time hours , for simple transaction ten year old kids could do…

  2. Milli Watt April 27, 2017 at 8:42 am

    hang on the jokers being paid 6,000.00 and up are absent, their decisions are absent of any coherence, their skill is absent, counsel absent, ideas absent and you want me to be present. I got some time to tek next month DEAL WID DAT

  3. Mikey April 27, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Ms. Suckoo-Carter, please fix the sick building syndrome all across the Public Service, then employees will not absent themselves from work. Also do it with the Schools where over the years Teachers and Children have suffered ailments and death.

  4. Helicopter(8P) April 27, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Environment, Work place ethic, supervisors training in human relations, workers experience in relation to their job position and qualification levels in comparison to the job being performed these are key indicators for reaching job satisfaction and enhancement for productivity. Lapse Safety measures on some jobs can cause absenteeism!


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