According to the national sickness absence survey, health-related absence from work in the Netherlands was 4.6 percent on average in 2004. This is slightly lower than in 2003, when it was 4.7 percent. Sickness absence seems to be stabilising after a sharp drop in 2003. In 2002 it was still as high as 5.3 percent.
Sickness absence in the Netherlands
Highest rates in public administration and manufacturing
Sickness absence was highest in public administration and manufacturing in 2004, with rates of 5.9 percent. Absence rose slightly in both sectors compared with 2003. In health care and welfare, too, relatively many workers reported in sick, 5.7 percent, but this was down on the previous year when this sector had the highest absence rates. Apart form this there are no changes in the rankings of sickness absence by sector of industry.
Lowest absence in hotels and restaurants
Just as in 2003, the hotel and restaurant sector had the lowest absence rates in 2004, namely 2.5 percent. Other sectors with relatively low sickness absence were trade, business services and mineral extraction. Sick leave rates were all below 4 percent in these sectors, and were also lower than in 2003, except in mineral extraction.
Sickness absence by sector
Largest decreases in medium-sized companies
Companies with one hundred or more employees had average sick leave rates of 5.3 percent. This is slightly higher that the 5.2 percent in 2003. In small and medium-sized companies on the other hand, sickness absence fell in 2004. The fall was largest for companies with between ten and one hundred employees: from 4.3 percent in 2003 to 4.0 percent in 2004.
Sickness absence by company size