10 March 2023, by Victoria Séveno

The number of workers in the Netherlands calling in sick rose for the seventh year in a row last year, meaning absenteeism among employees was at the highest level seen in over 20 years, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports.

CBS: Sick leave absences reach highest level since 2000

Cases of employee absenteeism have been rising steadily since 2016; according to data published by CBS, illness-related absenteeism reached 5,6 percent in the final quarter of 2022, up from 5,4 percent at the end of 2021. This means that workers called in sick on 56 out of every 1.000 working days – the highest figure seen in the Netherlands since 2000.

While these figures only refer to the final quarter of 2022, they remain significant, with CBS noting that employee absenteeism is significantly higher during the autumn and winter (i.e. in the first and fourth quarters of the year).

Employee absenteeism highest in the Dutch healthcare sector

This increase was observed across practically all industries, although the highest number of sick leave absences was once again recorded in the healthcare sector (8 percent). The most significant increase, on the other hand, was seen among those with jobs in the government and public administration sector (from 5,7 percent at the end of 2021 to 6,4 percent in 2022). Absenteeism was lowest in the agriculture and fishing sectors (3,3 percent).

Within the healthcare sector, the most significant increases were recorded among GPs, rising from 6,3 percent in 2021 to 7,9 percent last year, while those working in the nursing, care and home care sector recorded the highest level of employee absenteeism (9,3 percent).

Thumb: Tero Vesalainen via Shutterstock.com.

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