Absenteeism rate reaches 17 year high, healthcare hard hit

Flu thermometer.
Flu thermometer.
Photo: Depositphotos.com

More workers had days off sick in the first three months of this year, than at any time since 2003, according to new figures from national statistics agency CBS.

In total, the absenteeism rate rose to 5.2% in the first quarter – which means that for every thousand days worked, 52 days were not worked because of ill health.

The figures are based on quarterly statistics and it is not possible to extrapolate particular weeks, the CBS said. Nevertheless, the agency said, it is likely that the peak will be in March, after coronavirus hit.

The healthcare sector and manufacturing had the highest absenteeism rates in Q1 – 6.7%. In 2019, the healthcare sector’s Q1 absenteeism rate was 6.1%.

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