Effects of the pandemic | Increase in absenteeism and turnover rate

Employees have been absent more often since the start of the pandemic, especially those in large organizations, reveals a new report from the Conference Board of Canada. If retirements have been fewer than expected, there are fears that they will catch up in the next five years.

Canadians were absent on average 6.2 days in 2020-2021, compared to 5.1 days before the pandemic (2019-2020). However, this number of absences is probably underestimated, indicates the Conference Board of Canada report, given the number of teleworkers (37.8%), some of whom had to continue their professional activities even if they did not feel not good.

Absenteeism even fell by 4.2 days in public administration, which operated remotely for many months, by 4.5 days in provincial government departments and agencies, and by 2.8 days in business corporations. status, compared to years before COVID-19.

On the other hand, employees in health care and social assistance, sectors where it is impossible to work remotely, are those who have been absent the most.

Organizations with more than 5,000 employees recorded an average of 11.2 days of absence per employee, while organizations with less than 5,000 employees reported an average of 7 days of absence.

Turnover rate and retirements

The voluntary turnover rate for 2020-2021 increased to 9.1%, compared to 7% in 2019-2020. Often, these employees leave the labor market to take care of a loved one. There is a higher turnover rate in professional, scientific and technical services.

For employees in the retail trade sector, the turnover rate fell by 6.5%.

The rate of retirements is lower than expected in most sectors of activity, amounting to 1.4%, while organizations’ forecasts established it at 3%.

Over the next five years, 22% of the current workforce will therefore be eligible for retirement.

To mitigate potential problems caused by these massive departures, the independent research organization’s report advises companies to adopt succession plans or encourage high-performing employees eligible for retirement to stay on.

The specter of mass retirements could also give employees greater bargaining power, the report concludes.

While wage gains by industry have been modest so far, offered wages for all vacant positions are currently up 6.8% from 2019 levels.

5,9 %

Involuntary turnover rate in 2020-2021. This measure, namely dismissals, separations, departure of surplus employees and retirements at the initiative of the employer, has increased slightly since the beginning of the pandemic. This rate was 5% in 2019-2020.

Source : Staffing trends: sluggishness and massive departures, Conference Board of Canada, January 2022

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