Encyclopedia of Public Health

2008 Edition
| Editors: Wilhelm Kirch


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5614-7_7


Absence from work; Absence from workplace


Absenteeism is a general term for habitual absence from a duty or obligation. In occupational health, it refers to nonattendance when expected to work, for any reason at all, medical or otherwise. Absence from work is not really a medical phenomenon. It can be viewed as a “social” disease of workers that is symptomatic of underlying faults in their  working environments, and it falls within the realm of occupational health . Sickness absence is a convenient term for absence from work attributed to sickness or injury and accepted as such by the employer or social security system. Sickness absence is a complex phenomenon and is not necessarily the same as the health status of the individual or sickness in a society. Some sickness absence and some absenteeism for other reasons may be regarded as objectively necessary and, therefore, acceptable and normal. Absenteeism becomes abnormal – in medical terms,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008