Absence among Dutch employees caused by sickness was on average 4.7 percent in 2003. In 2002 it was still over 5.3 percent. On average employees reported in sick 1.3 times a year. Women, older people and people in lower wage brackets claimed more sick leave than average. Divorced and foreign workers were also absent more often.
In 2003, more than 1.7 million people in the Netherlands aged 15-64 years had a disability or health problem resulting in their not being able to work. This is the equivalent of 16 percent of 15-64 year-olds who were restricted in finding or carrying out a job because of a longstanding disorder, illness or handicap.
In 2003, 28 percent of workers in the Netherlands had to work under pressure on a regular basis. This percentage has been decreasing since 1999, for both part-time and full-time workers. The percentage of people working at a computer screen continues to increase. The percentage of workers who do heavy physical work or dirty work remained about the same in the period 1999-2003.
Dutch expenditure on care in 2003 increased by 8.4 percent to almost 57 billion euro. In 2001 and 2002 care expenditure increased by 11.4 and 11.8 percent. Expenditure on health care went up by 8.2 percent last year. On social care it increased by 9.2 percent. The increase is caused by higher wage costs within the institutions (more job volume and higher wages) and increased rates among the independent practitioners.
1088 people were killed in traffic in the Netherlands in 2003 and 1066 in 2002. In the summer months of 2003 the number of traffic deaths increased substantially, but in the fourth quarter it fell. A growing number of children died in traffic. This was mainly due to the increase in the number of deaths of children in cars. The total number of traffic deaths among car passengers, however, fell in 2003.