Saturday 26 November 2022

Absenteeism rate reaches record, unclear if coronavirus was to blame

Flu thermometer.The number of people off work sick in the first three months of this year reached a record 6.3% of the working population, national statistics office CBS said on Friday.

The absenteeism rate in the first quarter of 2021, when coronavirus was also raging, was 4.8%.

The healthcare sector was the most seriously affected with an absenteeism rate of 8.9% – which means 89 of every 1,000 working days were not actually worked because of illness. The figure was lowest – 3.4% – in financial services.

The figures are derived from an annual survey of employers and do not show why people were off work.

However, a survey by the CBS and research institute TNO last year found that workers were most likely to blame flu or a cold for being off work, followed by psychiatric complaints such as burn-out.

Some 8% blamed coronavirus and said it had been confirmed by a test. A further 12% took time off work because they had coronavirus symptoms.

Some 11% of healthcare workers who took time off were confirmed to have coronavirus, as were 9% of construction sector workers and 8.6% of people in the retail trade.

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