Presenteeism or attending work while ill is a growing organizational problem. This study examined the association between job demands, presenteeism, and absenteeism. We tested a moderated mediation model of the effects of job demands on absenteeism with the key objective of exploring the mediation effects of presenteeism and the moderating effects of organizational justice on this relationship. Based on a sample of emergency services call centre workers (N = 227), the research revealed that high job demands were associated with presenteeism, which in turn predicted longer absence spells. Furthermore, employee perceptions of distributive justice acted as an important mechanism through which presenteeism mediated the relationship between job demands and absenteeism.
- Organizations should be aware that work overload and strict attendance management practices can stimulate presenteeism.
- Managers should recognize that presenteeism can subsequently lead to longer spells of absence.
- Employee perceptions of fair outcomes minimize the deleterious effects of presenteeism on absenteeism.