Highest sick leave rate in Flevoland

With 5.2 percent Flevoland was the province with the highest sick leave rate in 2003. The rate was 0.5 percentage points up on the nationwide average of 4.7 percent. The lowest rate was found in the province of Zeeland (4.1 percent).

Sick leave by province, 2003

Sick leave by province, 2003

Apart from Flevoland sick leave was also above average in the provinces of South Holland and Overijssel. In the provinces of Friesland, Groningen, Utrecht and Drenthe the rate was slightly below the nationwide average. In the remaining provinces the rate hardly deviated from the national average.

Shortest period of absence for employees in Zeeland

Employees living in the province of Zeeland had the shortest period of absence due to sickness in 2003. The average period for an employee in Zeeland was 12.9 days, 1.8 days down on the national average of 14.7 days. The average for employees in the province of Limburg was 16 days. But people living in Limburg were sick less frequently. Therefore the sick leave rate in Limburg did not exceed the national average.

Sick leave rate varies by province
Within provinces there can be considerable regional differences (COROP region). In South Holland, for example, absence due to sickness was 3.8 percent in the region Delft en Westland, whereas the highest absence rate of 5.1 percent was registered in Groot-Rijnmond (Rotterdam region) and The Hague region. The COROP region of East Groningen recorded the highest rate (5.3 percent).

Sick leave by COROP region, 2003

Sick leave by COROP region, 2003

Employees in Rotterdam more often ill

In the four largest municipalities absence due to illness was above the national average. Employees in Rotterdam had the highest score with 5.8 percent. In The Hague and Amsterdam the respective rates were 5.5 and 5.2percent. Utrecht had the lowest rate of the four largest municipalities, namely 5.0 percent.

Regional differences

Factors which affect absence due to sickness are sex and age together with the type of activity and size of the business. These factors partly account for regional differences. In regions where many large companies are active the absence rate will be higher because large companies tend to have higher sick leave rates. Regions with relatively many older or female employees also tend to have higher absence rates. On average, these two categories of employees stay at home sick more often.

John Kartopawiro