Influenza sick leave costs employers over a billion euros annually
The flu epidemic costs Dutch employers a conservative estimate of 1.1 billion euros in sick leave days per year, according to calculations by Financieele Dagblad. Last week research institute Nivel announced that the number of people hit with the flu this season increased to an average of 136 per 100 thousand people. The week before it was 92 per 100 thousand people. In previous years the annual epidemic reached its peak in February.
Financieele Dagblad decided to calculate how much the absenteeism due to influenza costs Dutch employers every year. According to the Labor Balance 2016 by research institute TNO, a person sick with the flu will take an average of five days off work. FD decided to go with a conservative four days for its calculations. In 2015 13.2 percent of the Dutch work force was hit with the flu, according to TNO. On a Dutch population of 8.3 million, that's about 1.1 million people sick with the flu. Which equals 4.4 million days taken off work annually.
Three years ago TNO calculated that each sick day costs the employer 230 euros. FD increased that to 250 euros to account for inflation, among other things. That means that 250 euros lost for 4.4 million flu sick days totals a conservative 1.1 billion euros in costs to Dutch employers per year.