Sick leave in Netherlands a third higher than pre-pandemic
The number of days people didn't come to work because they were ill has been over 30 percent higher so far this year than before the coronavirus pandemic. The biggest cause of this increase is that people are sick at home for longer, health and safety service provider Arbo Unie reported after research.
According to the organization, the duration of absence in 2019 was between four and eight days. Now it is five to seven days higher. The construction and services sectors, in particular, have many employees calling in sick. “The number of absenteeism days there is about 50 percent higher than three years ago,” said Arbo Unie.
The fact that people stay home longer in case of illness is mainly due to the coronavirus. People who get the coronavirus still have to quarantine. “Since corona, showing up at work with a cold is no longer done. If you have a cough or sniff a lot, people look at you strangely,” said Corne Roelen, a company doctor at Arbo Unie and professor of occupational medicine at the University of Groningen.
But staff shortages also play a role. “Due to the tight labor market, the workload has increased in recent months. People are reluctant to go back to work in a hectic setting with busy colleagues and stay at home for longer,” said Roelen.
Long Covid only plays a minor role in the increased absenteeism, according to Arbo Unie. “The number of people who are at home with Long Covid is not very large and is not growing.”
Reporting by ANP