The rise in short-term absenteeism between 2017-2018 was “mainly explained by the atypical duration of the flu epidemic”.
The rate of employee absenteeism has increased by 6.6%, according to figures released by the social security ministry on Friday.
As the report reveals, between 2017-18, absenteeism rose from 3.64% to 3.88%, with absences due to illness higher year on year (55.7% in 2018 compared to 53.4% the year prior).
Both short-term and long-term absenteeism were on the rise, furthermore, although the communiqué states that in the former case, these were “mainly explained by the atypical duration of the flu epidemic”.
Long-term absences saw the first rise since 2013--increasing by 3.8% to 1.48% in 2018. This is partly explained by the fact there was an increase in absences lasting more than 3 weeks.
Reasons for absence
Mental or behavioural disorders were the principle cause of long-term absences (defined as over 21 days); however, at 16.4% of the total cause for illness, they do not rank the top reason. Slightly more incidental were absences due to osteoarticular diseases (16.5%). These were followed by infectious or parasitic diseases (for example, gastro, ear infections or the flu) at 14%.
Earlier this year, Delano asked readers to take a survey on stress levels at work, in which a quarter of respondents said they had taken a medical absence from burnout, with the average level of stress (from 1 to 10, with 10 being most stressed) was a 7.
Costs on the rise
Direct costs linked to absenteeism also increased from 2017 to 2018 by 12.6% (€618.7m to €696.4m, respectively).
These costs are calculated, per the ministry, by “the amount of the continuation of remuneration in case of sickness of employees paid by the employers (the first 13 weeks), as well as the sum of the pecuniary indemnities paid by the CNS [national health service].”