German industry has an absenteeism rate of 10%, the highest in Europe, and of which half is thought to be due to truancy rather than genuine sickness. One strategem has been to reduce sick pay for absent workers; another has been to send truancy officers to the homes of absent workers to verify that they are ill and to question them in detail about the illness upon their return. Other approaches include tying a desired absenteeism rate to the Christmas bonus each year. Some companies have cut their absentee rates in half with these methods. Other recent changes in absentee management include: (1) back to work interviews; (2) absence monitoring software; (3) financial incentives; (4) flexibility in shift patterns; and (5) breaking large organizations into smaller teams.
A UK survey found that where senior managers were responsible for absenteeism the rates were the lowest. Line managers seem to be 25 percent less efficient at managing the problem and this is put down to being too close to their staff and not wanting to be confrontational.