Absenteeism has more than halved in the last 25 years from 10% in 1980 to just over 4% in 2005, according to a report by the government’s social advisory body SCP on Thursday.
The report says that while women are still more likely to miss work than men, the gap has become smaller.
The Netherlands tried in vain to reduce its absenteeism rate and the number of people on job disability benefits (WAO) for decades and has finally achieved success in the last few years, the SCP said.
The fall in absenteeism is largely due to an downward trend in the economic climate between 2001 and 2005, said the SCP. When unemployment goes up by one percentage point, absenteeism goes down by 0.25 percentage points, the report says.
The number of workers on job disability benefits fell dramatically from 13 per thousand in 2001 to 4.5 per thousand in 2006.
But on the other hand, participation in the labour market by those with a work-related handicap also went down, from 44% in 2000 to 40% in 2005, said the SCP.
The chance of employees who have been on work disability benefits finding a job has remained stable with around 15% finding work within 12 months, the report concluded.
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