Improving productivity in the manufacturing industry.

Despite the current economic conditions, the manufacturing industry in Ireland is thriving According to research from IBEC, Ireland’s level of employment in high-technology manufacturing, as a share of total employment, is now the highest in the EU, with 29% of manufacturing jobs in high technology sectors. 

With this in mind, improving productivity has never been more of a priority in the manufacturing industry. Here at Advanced, we’re interested in understanding how to do this and believe that one of the key areas of focus should be on absence from work due to sickness.

Recent research found that, on average,  the sick leave rate for Irish workers was as low as 4.2%, showcasing just how committed staff are to their work and their employers.  This doesn’t mean that we can afford to be complacent however! Sick leave has a notably greater effect on the productivity of manufacturing employees than in other industries in Ireland.


What is the Average Number of Sick Days Per Day in the UK?

The average number of sick days per year in the Ireland is 9.2 days, according to government research. Despite the upheaval of the past few years, this has represented a drop from 9.5  previously. There have been increases in certain areas, such as within public sector and Irish prison services in particular.

Until 2022, Irish employees had no legal right to statutory sick pay. This changed with the introduction of the Sick Leave act 2022, which entitled employees to:

 Paid sick leave for up to 3 sick days per year. This will increase to 5 days in 2024, 7 days in 2025 and 10 days in 2026.

A rate of payment for statutory sick leave of 70% of normal wages to be paid by employers (up to a maximum €110 per day).

Sick Days in the Manufacturing Industry

The manufacturing industry was the worst-affected industry for sick days in 2018; manual employees lost an average of 6.8 days to sickness whilst non-manual workers lost an average of just 3.9 days over the course of the year.

How to Improve Productivity Using Time and Attendance Software

One of the most significant ways for manufacturing employers to counteract this worrying trend is to implement time and attendance software. This enables companies to monitor employee attendance and sick days, facilitating the identification of any absence patterns that may need to be addressed quickly, and with minimal additional work.   At Mitrefinch, we believe that it is important for employers to be able to maximise efficiency and reach informed decisions without being micro-managerial or overbearing. Time and attendance software, contrary to popular belief, provides managers with the information they need to achieve this with as little interference as possible.

Benefits of Time and Attendance Software

As well as helping managers to pick up on trends in employee sick leave and increase productivity in the process, time and attendance software offers a range of other benefits for businesses in the manufacturing industry.

Reduce Labour Costs

One of the biggest benefits of time and attendance software is the reduction of labour costs by eliminating the risk of inaccurate timesheets, maintaining clear break time schedules, and ensuring that staff members are not regularly overservicing and working for longer periods of time than agreed.

Reduce “Buddy Punching”

Traditional attendance checks are vulnerable to manipulation by unscrupulous employees. These systems can be cheated by a variety of means such as logging additional hours of work or buddy punching, where one employee clocks in on behalf of another absent employee. The extra hours of pay that accrue as a result of such dishonest practices increase employers’ labour costs. Our intelligent time and attendance software prevents this from occurring and provides an accurate picture of timekeeping using biometric, fob, or card-based timekeeping. Biometric timekeeping is one of the most effective ways of preventing employees from abusing your timekeeping system with buddy punching. By using a unique fingerprint scan rather than a card-clocking system, the employee needs to be present in order to clock in or out. Ultimately, the software ensures that you only pay for hours that are worked, helping to reduce labour costs.

Manage Time Allocation Effectively

Unwarranted sick leave and employee tardiness can prevent managers from allocating roles and scheduling tasks effectively. Absenteeism in key members of a manufacturing project tends to grind progress to a halt, preventing other employees from doing their jobs. As well as discouraging unauthorised absence from work, our time and attendance software helps managers to allocate time effectively by facilitating the management of overtime hours, including accurate tracking of refused or accepted requests for overtime. Managers find it particularly useful for people planning when coupled with HR software. Our software can also assist companies with return to work processes. Scheduling return to work interviews is easy, with full transparency for both employers and employees as well as alerts and reminders to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Improve Productivity and Efficiency

Time and attendance software enables managers to pick up on many different forms of absenteeism. In this way, the software discourages employees from missing work without a good reason. Line managers can also identify and address absence early, improving the productivity and efficiency of the workforce overall.

Increase Levels of Employee Satisfaction

Whilst this might seem like an unusual benefit, time and attendance software can actually increase employee satisfaction. Software and hardware that has been developed with the user in mind, such as our Advanced People solutions offer a positive, high-tech experience at the point of entry. Additionally, it can be linked to payroll systems, facilitating the accurate calculation of wages and compensation. Payroll integration also ensures that pay checks are always delivered on time and are easy to access, helping to make your employees happy, motivated, and loyal. If you think a time and attendance solution could be right for your business, contact us today to find out more. 

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