February 7, 2023

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Employees were sick at home in the first quarter for a record number of days |  Currently

Employees were sick at home in the first quarter for a record number of days | Currently

Never before have so many people come into contact with the disease as in the first quarter of this year. On Friday, Statistics Netherlands reported that absenteeism due to illness rose to 6.3 percent. This means that for every thousand working days, 63 days were absent. This is the largest number ever measured by the Statistical Office. Absenteeism due to illness is increasing in all sectors, but it is highest in health care.

In the healthcare sector, 8.9% of employees were absent during the past quarter due to illness. A year ago, that number was still 6.3 percent, the highest of all branches at that time.

Within health and social care, absenteeism was highest in nursing and childcare. Employees were absent 104 and 100 days out of the thousand, respectively.

Absenteeism was lowest in financial services at 3.4 per cent.

A lot of people are staying at home because of Corona

The reasons why employees stay home sick cannot be deduced from the numbers, but the Dutch statistics agency and the knowledge institute TNO conduct an annual survey of complaints among people who have been absent from work recently. This indicates that 8 percent of the Dutch stayed at home last year due to a confirmed infection with corona and 12 percent due to complaints related to corona, but without being tested. In 2020, 2 percent stayed home due to positive testing and 29 percent to complaints.

In healthcare, the number of employees who stayed home due to a positive coronavirus test was the highest, at 11 percent.

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Fatigue is also a reason to report illness

In addition, 30% of Dutch employees in 2021 indicated that they stayed at home with flu or cold complaints. 6% had symptoms of fatigue or psychological problems.

The number of absent days is much higher than in the first quarter of last year. At the time, the absenteeism rate was 4.8 percent.