Sick leave in NL at highest level in 17 years

Illness related absenteeism among employees in the Netherlands rose to 5.2 percent in the first quarter of this year - the highest level since the first quarter of 2003, Statistics Netherlands said on Friday based on provisional figures. The increased absenteeism occurred in al sectors. 

Sick leave is always higher in the winter, the first and fourth quarters of the year. The stats office could not say exactly how much of the fist quarter's increase had to do with the coronavirus, which was first diagnosed in the Netherlands on February 27. The 5.2 percent absenteeism is an average over the entire quarter. "It is not possible to distinguish between the different months or weeks," the stats office said.

Illness absenteeism of 5.2 percent means that for every 1 thousand working days, 52 were lost to illness. 

Employees in healthcare and industry were most often absent due to illness in the first quarter at 6.7 percent. Healthcare has had the highest sick leave since the second quarter of 2017, and even before that, the percentage of workers calling in sick was above average. Public administration also had above average sick leave in the first quarter at 6.2 percent.