Pocock, S. J. (1973).Brit. J. industr. Med.,30, 64-70. Relationship between sickness absence and length of service. A longitudinal study of 454 new employees in one factory showed that sickness absence rates in the first six months of service were less than half the rates during the next four and a half years. This is presumed to be partially caused by the lack of company sick pay during this initial period. A cross-sectional study of 1 263 men in employment in 1964 showed that men with long service (e.g., over 10 years) are less frequently absent than the rest whereas days lost was not associated with length of service. This is thought to relate to the increased job satisfaction and greater responsibility of long-service employees. It is also shown that an employee's sickness absence experience in the first year of employment can be used as an indicator of future absence liability. However, it is more reliable in the prediction of the `frequently sick' than the `severely sick' employee. Previous studies of the effect of length of service on sickness absence are also discussed.
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