Wednesday 25 May 2022

More workers off sick, as supermarkets warn of empty shelves

Flu thermometer.The number of people off work sick was ‘exceptionally’ high for the second month in a row in December, according to health and safety companies ArboNed and Human Capital Care.

The healthcare, industry, education and construction sectors were relatively hard hit, with coronavirus accounting for around one third of the absenteeism reports, say the companies, which cover around one million employees between them.

They put the overall absenteeism rate at 4.9%, just marginally down on the 5.1% recorded in November. The recommendation to work at home, and the Christmas holidays, are likely to have had an impact, the companies say.

The worst affected sectors are ones in which people work on location and according to a roster, company doctor Jurriaan Penders said. This means that coronavirus is more likely to spread among colleagues.

On Thursday, the supermarket sector warned that unless the quarantine rules are further relaxed, shoppers will soon be faced with empty shelves because so many members of staff are now off.

Last week, the government said that people who had a booster vaccination at least a week ago, or who had had coronavirus within eight weeks, would not have to go into quarantine if they had no symptoms.

The supermarkets say that all supermarket workers without symptoms should be able to work, even if they are unvaccinated or have not had a booster dose.

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