Workstation Sanitizing
  • About R19 144 billion is lost due to sick absenteeism in South Africa every year.
  • 14.1% of the total sick absenteeism incidents in corporate South Africa are related to influenza;
  • 6.09% of the total sick leave incidents related to gastroenteritis every year;
  • That means that an average South African company with 50 employees could be losing up to 105 days per year due to influenza alone, and another 45 days to gastro. That’s 150 days a year lost to infectious diseases which are spread – largely – by poor hand hygiene.  

Absenteeism Trends in South African Companies

According to Occupational Care South Africa (OCSA), absenteeism costs the South African economy around R12 - R16 billion per year, and the Human Capital Review estimates it to be an even higher R19,144 billion annually. This equates to around 15% of employees being absent on any given day.  When one looks at it this way, one can understand why absenteeism is possibly the single most expensive problem affecting business both locally and internationally.  

Sick absenteeism should run at about 1.5%, which means that for every 250 working days per year, the average employee should take 3.75 days off sick. Most South African companies have an overall absenteeism rate of between 3.5% and 6%, which is way over the acceptable limit and equates roughly to between 8 and 15 days per colleague per year.  

In an office of just 50 colleagues, this would equate to approximately 400 to 750 productive days lost annually to sickness. When looked at like that, one can see where figures like R16 -R19 billion lost annually originate.