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The data on the absence record cards can then be classed as a Secondary Data source as someone else has collected it. The information on the Absence Records card is then recorder on an Absence Tracker Spreadsheet (Appendix C). Due to the way in which this spreadsheet is comprised it is then possible to see what the absence percentage is for each shift on any given day. As with all types of Secondary Data its validity can never be completely guaranteed as someone else has collected it.

The validity of the information on the Return to Work form can be crossed checked by the Human Resources Advisor by comparing it to that recorded on the Absence Record card. This information having been recorded by the Human Resources Advisor either from a phone call from the Colleague or details on a Medical Certificate. Occasionally the dates do not correspond. In such an instance I have had to contact the Supervisor for clarification of dates. Findings

The national average for absence is 6.2% of the workforce. On Monday 18th October 2004 the daily absence figures for the Haydock depot were 17. 2% on early shift, 11. 28% on the afternoon shift and 6. 8% on the night shift. This brought the overall depot average to 11. 76%. An absence percentage this high would clearly have a negative effect on the business operating potential. It was estimated that since the start of that week on Sunday 17th October 2004 absence alone had cost the depot8K.

Absence can be either short term lasting for up to a week, but in extreme circumstances can be longer, even extending to a number of months. This information is briefed out daily to Colleagues in the format shown in Appendix D. It would possibly be advantageous to supply a graphical representation of this information as some people find graphs easier to comprehend, see Appendix E). This information can however be flawed as several Supervisors are responsible for each particular section on each shift.

Often Colleagues book last minute holidays or arrange rest day swaps at short notice, if a Supervisor fails to record this information in a place accessible to all, and then themselves fails to attend work a Colleague can be recorded as absent when in fact they have a valid reason for not attending work. As the figures are recorded on a daily basis, shortly after the commencement of shift the percentages will not be accurate.

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