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Thursday, 29 March 1973
Page: 951

Mr Lynch asked the Minister for Labour, upon notice:

(1)   Will he provide details of the latest cost estimates of industrial absenteeism.

(2)   What action does he propose to reduce the present level of industrial absenteeism.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I am informed that the answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   A recent survey suggests that annual cost in terms of wages and salaries paid to employees during absence was $640m. Information is not available for cost estimates to be made of such effects as disruption to production and reduced utilisation of overheads.

(2)   The nature of the work environment and personnel policies and practices pursued in the individual work place are among significant factors in relation to absence from work. Consequently, responsibility for the control of absence rests with management. However, to assist management with this task my Department will conduct research not only into the incidence and causes of absence but also into such positive areas of relevance as job satisfaction and job enrichment. The results of this research will be widely publicised.

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