Sickened by the cost of absenteeism – which costs South Africa approximately R12-billion a year – HR executives are turning to software solutions to minimise these costs as well as those of low productivity and replacement labour.

Deirdre Stoop, CedarOpenAccounts product manager of Bateleur Software, says the costs of illness among employees go beyond direct medical costs to the hidden expense of negatively impacted productivity levels.
“Increasingly, HR executives are adding value to the organisation by sourcing effective software solutions to tackle this growing dilemma,” Stoop says. “For example, the Bateleur offering, which is called HR Analyser, enables organisations to identify causes of absence and create strategies to reduce the number of lost days due to absence.”
With absenteeism accounting for an estimated 15% of the payroll, this type of capability is assuming strategic importance for most organisations. The aging workforce causes disability claims to increase, workers' compensation costs are up 20%, and insurance carriers are getting more aggressive about evaluating claims, all of which forces employers to become more conscious of where the money goes. In addition, of all the expenses related to absence, unscheduled time off has the biggest impact on productivity, profitability and morale.
“Three to six percent of any given workforce is absent every day due to unscheduled issues or disability claims. To compensate, most companies continually overstaff by 10% to 20% to mask lost productivity. That's a colossal cost,” Stoop says.
Bateleur Software is the official South African distributor for CedarOpenAccounts (COA), the UK's fastest-growing supplier of accounting, financial management and reporting, procurement, HR and payroll software solutions to the public and private service sector.
According to Stoop, a growing number of companies are using solutions to provide the essential capabilities described above. HR Analyser, the offering from Bateleur and COA, enables the HR department to be a proactive contributor to business success through evidence-based analysis of the people in the organisation.
“This solution was designed with leading experts on HR Metrics and the practical application of HR Metrics within world-class organisations to enable HR professionals to define, monitor, analyse, report and act on the real drivers behind corporate performance,” Stoop says. “With HR Analyser, the HR department can answer all its pressing questions, quickly and with authority.”
A fully integrated HR analytical solution, HR Analyser is accessed through a secure, fully interactive, browser-based web interface. It provides visibility and clarity into an organisation’s people performance and a detailed insight into actual business activity.
“HR Analyser provides metrics and measurements for everything from absence to wealth created per full-time employee. This, in turn, provides high-level visibility of where value is being created within the organisation,” Stoop says.