The sickness absence rate is the total number of days employees do not work because of sickness as a percentage of the total number of available working days of employees in the period concerned. It does not include pregnancy and maternity leave, and since 2005 it includes sickness absence exceeding one year.
The sickness absence data for 2008 and later are from the Quarterly survey on sickness absence, held among around 25 thousand companies and institutions. The questionnaire asks for the sickness absence rate in the company in the last quarter. Some 18 thousand companies actually respond to the survey. The data refer to around 2.5 million employees. As it is a sample survey it is subject to a margin of error. At the level of total figures the margin is 0.04 of a percent point. For lower levels the margin of error is larger.