Control of absenteeism

Develop a tool that lets government managers be in full control of absenteeism.



The government focuses on good entrepreneurship with attention to individual employees, including when they’re absent. In supporting absentees, the focus needs to be on facilitating a return to the workplace. Supported by occupational health and safety, HR and other professionals, the Line Manager is currently responsible for absentees; whether they have a cold, the flu or a long-term illness, or are absent due to discontent or conflict.

To keep absenteeism under control, a manager is expected to deal with the variety of reasons for employees who don’t go to work. He/she needs to be in good contact with the employee, have knowledge of the wet Poortwachter (Dutch Absenteeism Reduction Act), be on the lookout for (first) signals of a burn-out and act upon these, keep employees moving, reorganize and reassign tasks whenever needed, and make tough decisions from time to time. We would like to support managers in such a way that they are able to have the right conversation at the right time, from an optimistic vantage point, and in observance to:

  • Employability;
  • Timely deployment of professionals when situations call for such measures;
  • Prevention;
  • Mobility, when someone has been ‘stuck’ in their role for too long;
  • Distribution of tasks/assignments;
  • The individual: insights in the (in)capabilities of every employee.

Ideally, a strict but involved manager has a guideline at his/her disposal to always have the right conversation at the right time, aiming for more and faster returns to the workplace.

What are we looking for?

  • Insights in in methods that are proven to be effective within other larger, complex organizations that operate on a national scale – methods that support the helicopter manager in keeping absenteeism under control. Which tools and interventions are already available to use, and which steps are there to be taken?
  • Developing a new method/model or developing guidelines to aid managers in their aim to better guide employees back to the workplace.

A fitted solution is one that works for a government with a layered, complex organizational structure, where the activities and tasks widely vary, just as the relations between manager and employee.


What are we not looking for?

Developing a new policy or intervention; there’s an abundance of data, policies and interventions. We need to find an innovative way to integrate them/put them to good use.


More information

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