Sick Leave Availing Pattern, Reasons and Their Association of Socio-demographic Factors among Private University Staff in Kedah State, Malaysia

Main Article Content

Abdul Nazer Ali
Aw Wei Jun
Chuah Hui Ying
Nazer Zulfikar Ahmed


Aim: This study intends to investigate the 1) sick leave (SL) availing pattern, 2) the reasons for availing sick leave, and to evaluate 3) the association of sick leave with socio-demographic factors among a private University staff.

Study Design: A retrospective descriptive study design was employed in this study.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in a private University clinic, Kedah state, Malaysia among the University staff between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

Methodology: The data was obtained retrospectively from the University clinic, staff medical records between September, 2017 and August, 2018 (data retrieval period of employees) using a standardized, pre-validated data collection form consisting of socio-demographic data, SL data and reasons for SL. All temporary, permanent and contract employees belonging to academic, administrative and ancillary cadre were included in the study.

Results: A total of 78% (274/350) staff records met the inclusion criteria and 22% excluded for not completing service for one academic year of the study. The average age of the study population were 36 to 45 years, 80% were of Indian ethnicity, academic and ancillary staff comprised of 52% and 39% respectively. About 31% (85/274) of the study population did not avail any SL, whereas, 69% (189/274) were involved in at-least one SL during the study period. The study observed significant association (P < .001) between SL availed (31%) and SL not availed (69%) categories. The maximum sick leave availed during the study period was 74% (63/85) among 36 to 45 years. There was no significant association among SL availing pattern and socio-demographic factors. However, there were significant association between profession and country of origin under sick leave categories and socio-demographic factors (P <.05). Among the sick leave availed population, 36% (68/189) availed sick leave due to cough, fever, flu, sore throat or oral ulcer, 26% (49/189) due to abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pain or dysmenorrhea and 18% (34/189) due to diarrhoea and vomiting respectively.

Conclusion: Further investigation on sick leave utilization should be continued at the structural, organizational and individual levels. The increases of sick leave among young employees were considerably high and should be studied further. The increase in sick leave utilization among women is still unexplained as no research or data identified to explain it. Motivated, satisfied and fulfilled employees are far less likely to be sick and tired of work.

Sick leave, availing pattern, reasons.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ali, A. N., Jun, A. W., Ying, C. H., & Ahmed, N. Z. (2020). Sick Leave Availing Pattern, Reasons and Their Association of Socio-demographic Factors among Private University Staff in Kedah State, Malaysia. Asian Journal of Research in Nursing and Health, 3(1), 1-9. Retrieved from
Original Research Article


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