Absenteeism approaching record heights as it continues to rise
The number of employees who stayed at home due to illness rose again in the fourth quarter of last year, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported. The absenteeism rate was approaching the figures from 2000, when CBS recorded the highest absenteeism since the start of the measurement four years earlier.
According to CBS, the absenteeism rate in the last three months of 2022 was 5.6 percent. That means that 56 out of every 1,000 working days were missed due to illness, the statistics office explained. CBS does have a caveat. Absenteeism in the first and last quarter of a year is generally higher than in the other two quarters.
Absenteeism due to illness increased in most industries. The highest was in health and social care, with an absenteeism rate of 8 percent, just below 2000’s 8.1 percent. Within this sector, nursing, care, and home care saw an above-average number of people (9.3 percent) sick at home.
The largest increase was visible in public administration, where absenteeism increased from 5.7 percent in Q4 of 2021 to 6.4 percent in 2022. According to CBS, the percentage exceeded 6 percent for the first time in 19 years. Absenteeism in the fourth quarter was lowest in the agriculture and fisheries sector at 3.3 percent.
Occupational health and safety services ArboNed and HumanCareCapital also concluded last month that the number of sick employees remains high. Especially the number of people who have been ill for six weeks or longer with mental health complaints has been increasing the absenteeism for several years. That includes stress-related complaints like overwork, burnout, or depression. According to ArboNed, someone with burnout is absent for an average of 279 days.
Reporting by ANP