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2011 Iowa Custody Study

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 Preserving the parent-child relationship in separated families!


Divorce and Worker Productivity


“Presenteeism is defined as lost productivity that occurs when employees come to work but perform below par due to any kind of illness. While the costs associated with the absenteeism of employees has been long studied, the costs of presenteeism is newly being studied” (Levin-Epstein, 2005).

Lost productivity due to presenteeism is, on average, seven and a half times greater than that lost to absenteeism. The Harvard Business Review estimates that presenteeism costs American Business $150 billion annually in direct and indirect costs (Dixon, June 2005).

An unprofitable work environment results from the many factors experienced by employees in failing relationships, increased absenteeism, and presenteeism which mean being physically present but mentally absent. (Turvey and Olson, 2006).    

In the year following divorce, employers lost an average of over 168 hours of work time, equivalent to being fully absent 4 weeks in one calendar year (Mueller, 2005). 

Employers should note that it may take up to 5 years for employee productivity to rebound after a divorce (Turvey and Olson, 2006).


Dixon, “Weighing the Costs of Presenteeism.” The Chief Executive, June 2005

Levin-Epstein, J.(2005). Presenteeism and paid sick days. Washington, D.C.: CLASP Center for Law and Social Policy. Retrieved November 15, 2005, from

Mueller, R. (2005). “The effect of marital dissolution on the labour supply
of males and females: Evidence from Canada.” Journal of Socio-Economics, 34, 787-809.

Turvey & Olsen, 2006. Marriage and Family Wellness: Corporate America's Business? Retrieved November 7, 2009, from[1](1).pdf