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TASK A INTRODUCTION

Workplace attendance and its converse absenteeism are complex multi-dimensional issues involving the interaction and subtle interplay between worker, employer, workplace, social, societal and economic factors. The business environment has changed to the extent that now every area of economic performance is of importance to achieve local and international competitiveness. Employees attendance at work, productivity and organisational commitment have become critical components of human resource performance.

RESEARCH TITLE
The increasing rate of absenteeism at the Casinos of Mauritius Ltd

DEFINITION OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM AND ITS JUSTIFICATION


According to Mr Vinayeghen GOVINDASAMI, Compliance officer of the Casinos of Mauritius Ltd, the percentage of absenteeism is constantly rising (attendance record 2009,2010 and 2011). The cost of absenteeism is greater than the direct payment of wages and benefits paid during the absence. Organisations must also consider the indirect cost of staffing, scheduling, re-training, lost productivity, diminished morale, turnover, opportunity cost. The indirect costs often exceed the direct cost of absenteeism.

DEFINITION OF ABSENTEEISM
Absenteeism is referred to herein as failure of employees to report for work when they are scheduled to work. Employees who are away from work on recognized holidays, vacations, approved leaves of absence, or leaves of absence allowed under the collective agreement provision or the Employees Rights Acts 2008 would not be included.

TYPES OF ABSENTEEISM
There are two types of absenteeism:

Innocent Absenteeism
Innocent absenteeism refers to employers who are absent for reasons beyond their control, for example, sickness and injury. Innocent absenteeism is not culpable which means that it is blameless. In a labour relations context, this means that it cannot be remedied or treated by disciplinary measures.

Culpable Absenteeism
Culpable absenteeism refers to employees who are absent without authorisation for reasons, which are within their control. For instance, an employee, who is on sick leave even though he/she is not sick and it can be proven, that the employee was not sick, is guilty of culpable absenteeism. To be culpable is to be blameworthy. In a labour relations context, this means that progressive discipline can be applied.

ABSENTEEISM IN AN ORGANISATION
These two types of absenteeism happen in almost all departments of the organisation but probably at a different frequency. The employees of the Casinos of Mauritius Ltd use absenteeism. The word use has been applied here because employees think that certain leaves granted to them by the employer is an asset which belong to them and which they can use it whenever they want and even if they dont want it, they have to take it before the end of each year.

THE OBJECTIVES OF THIS RESEARCH PROPOSAL.


The objectives of this study are to: 1. Establish the causes and effects of absenteeism on the performance, service delivery and goodwill of the Casinos of Mauritius Ltd and recommend remedial actions to decrease absenteeism over a specific period of time. 2. Establish whether appropriate management of absenteeism will lead to improved service delivery and amelioration in the financial condition of the business.

THE CAUSES OF ABSENTEEISM


Below are few causes of absenteeism: 1. Serious accidents and illness; these are genuine cases and they are notified by medical certificates and it can happen to anybody. 2. Low morale; Many factors are responsible for this, for example loss of a dear one or not being promoted in the workplace although having worked well for a long time. 3. Boredom in the workplace; This does not apply in all the Casinos. It happens is Casinos such as Le Grand Casino du Domaine where in is very little movement during day shift. 4. Personal problems such as marital issues, substance abuse, child care, etc... 5. Poor physical condition as there are days where physical strength is needed to carry out certain jobs in the casino. 6. Stress 7. Increased workload especially during weekends and end of months. 8. Lack of work culture

THE EFFECTS OF ABSENTEEISM


Absenteeism can prove to be fatal for the operation of a Casino. A shortage of staff will contribute to spoil the reputation of the business and may even cause the Casino to close. For example; 1. One or two staff absent for the Count process during the day shift. This will directly impact on the opening time of the Casino as the time taken to complete the Count process will be longer as the job will be carried out by fewer staffs. For this particular process, the supervisor cannot even replace the staffs absent as it will take too much time for another staff to reach the casino. 2. Cashiers not reporting for duty will cause long queues in front of the cash desks in the casino: a long waiting time for tokens in a Casino means less playing time on machines. 3. Technicians absent will cause in machines downtime to increase thus affecting cash in and services. 4. When there is a shortage in floor personnel, customer care and services are affected. 5. One dealer absent may even prevent the casino manager to open a roulette, blackjack or poker table. Players willing to play will have to wait for long period of time. This will also result in overcrowded tables hence increasing security issues and thefts. The above mentioned examples will directly impact on the reputation and finances of the Casino. Unsatisfied present customers will migrate to competitors. Future customers will not come to the Casinos of Mauritius Ltd. Thus the income will considerably decrease. Absent staff members will have to be replaced as the Casino has to continue its operation. This implies that payment of overtime and other benefits will seriously impact on the profit and loss account of the company.

HYPOTHESES
1. Employees who report higher overall job satisfaction are absent less frequently. 2. Employees with children have a higher rate of absenteeism. 3. Female staffs have higher incidence of absenteeism than male staffs. 4. Professional and managerial employees are less likely to report high level of absences.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study will consider the following questions: 1. Is there a relationship between high rate of absenteeism and poor service to customers? 2. To what extent does absenteeism rate effect on services provided by different departments of the Casinos of Mauritius Ltd to its own staffs and to its customers? 3. Is the service offered to the customers affected due to high level of fatigue as the employees have to compensate to the absence of others?

METHODOLOGY
Data Collection Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes. The data component is divided into two parts: 1. Primary data 2. Secondary data - collected for the first time. - those which have already been collected and analysed.

For this problem research, both primary and secondary data will be essential to understand the phenomenon and to identify remedial actions. Primary data Primary data collection consists of mainly Qualitative research methods and Quantitative research methods.

Qualitative research method would be the best suited method of research. Qualitative
research design is a research method used extensively by scientists and researchers studying human behaviour and habits. Qualitative research is often regarded as a precursor to quantitative research, in that it is often used to generate possible leads and ideas which can be used to formulate a realistic and testable hypothesis. This hypothesis can then be comprehensively tested and mathematically analyzed, with standard quantitative research methods. Qualitative methods are probably the oldest of all scientific techniques, with Ancient Greek philosophers qualitatively observing the world around them and trying to come up with answers which explained what they saw. The design of qualitative research is probably the most flexible of the various experimental techniques, encompassing a variety of accepted methods and structures. From an individual case study to an extensive interview, this type of study still needs to be carefully constructed and designed, but there is no standardized structure. Case studies, interviews and survey designs are the most commonly used methods Advantages Qualitative techniques are extremely useful when a subject is too complex be answered by a simple yes or no hypothesis. These types of designs are much easier to plan and carry out. They are also useful when budgetary decisions have to be taken into account. The broader scope covered by these designs ensures that some useful data is always generated, whereas an unproved hypothesis in a quantitative experiment can mean that a lot of time has been wasted. Qualitative research methods are not as dependent upon sample sizes as quantitative methods; a case study, for example, can generate meaningful results with a small sample group.

Disadvantages Whilst not as time or resource consuming as quantitative experiments, qualitative methods still require a lot of careful thought and planning, to ensure that the results obtained are as accurate as possible. Qualitative data cannot be mathematically analyzed in the same comprehensive way as quantitative results, so can only give a guide to general trends. It is a lot more open to personal opinion and judgment, and so can only ever give observations rather than results. Any qualitative research design is usually unique and cannot be exactly recreated, meaning that they do lack the ability to be replicated.

Secondary data Secondary data is the data that have been already collected by and readily available from other sources. Such data are cheaper and more quickly obtainable than the primary data and also may be available when primary data cannot be obtained at all. Examples of secondary data are the attendance records of the company, records of letters sent to the employees, any adverse report in the personal files of the employees, etc... Advantages of Secondary data 1. It is economical. It saves efforts and expenses. 2. It is time saving. 3. It helps to make primary data collection more specific since with the help of secondary data, we are able to make out what are the gaps and deficiencies and what additional information needs to be collected. 4. It helps to improve the understanding of the problem. 5. It provides a basis for comparison for the data that is collected by the researcher.

Disadvantages of Secondary Data 1. Secondary data is something that seldom fits in the framework of the marketing research factors. Reasons for its non-fitting are:- Unit of secondary data collection-Suppose you want information on disposable income, but the data is available on gross income. The information may not be same as we require. Thus the data collected earlier is of no use to you. 2. Accuracy of secondary data is not known. 3. Data may be outdated.

Evaluation of Secondary Data Because of the above mentioned disadvantages of secondary data, we will lead to evaluation of secondary data. Evaluation means the following four requirements must be satisfied:1. Availability- It has to be seen that the kind of data you want is available or not. If it is not available then you have to go for primary data. 2. Relevance- It should be meeting the requirements of the problem. For this we have two criterion:a. Units of measurement should be the same. b. Concepts used must be same and currency of data should not be outdated. 3. Accuracy- In order to find how accurate the data is, the following points must be considered: a. Specification and methodology used; b. Margin of error should be examined; c. The dependability of the source must be seen. 4. Sufficiency- Adequate data should be available.

Sampling For this study, the sampling frame has to be drawn from the payroll file of the company. This process should be a random one but it should be ensured that all the different departments in the organisation are represented. The sampling size for this research proposal should be around 150 employees.

Budget The overall project will be completed and a report conclusion and recommendations submitted within six months from the start of the research project. The cost of carrying this research project will be of two million rupees.

References and Bibliography

Mr Aveeraj S Peedoly lecture notes and class handouts Interview of Mr Vinayeghen GOVINDASAMI, Compliance Officer, Casinos of Mauritius Ltd. http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/pubdocs/1997/15/en/1/ef9715en.pdf http://www.nmmu.ac.za/documents/theses/PROPHETTA%20UKHOYENA%20JADEDEJA%20MWANDA.pdf https://digital.library.txstate.edu/bitstream/handle/10877/3429/fulltext.pdf http://verfroller.nl/rio.pdf http://www.experiment-resources.com/