Bulk of sickness absence not work-related

25/11/2014 15:00

Last year, nearly half of all employees in the Netherlands were at least one time absent from work because they were ill. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) announced today that in nearly one quarter of cases, the cause was partly or predominantly work-related. Work-related sickness absence is most commonly found in the sectors hotels and restaurants, education and construction. Long-term absence due to sickness is most frequently found in the construction and transport and storage sector. Age is also an important factor. Long-term sickness absence is more frequent among older employees than among their younger counterparts.

In 23 percent of cases sickness absence is partly or mainly work-related

During the past year, 48 percent of employees have reported sick at least one time. Within this group, 23 percent indicate that the last time they reported sick, the cause was partly or mainly work-related; 71 percent of employees claim that the last time they reported sick, the cause was not work-related; 6 percent were not able to indicate whether the cause of their illness was work-related or not. 

Highest work-related sickness absence rates in sectors hotels and restaurants, education and construction

Although the sickness absence rate is relatively low in the sector hotels and restaurants, this sector has the highest percentage of work-related absence, because the work-related accident rate is twice the average. The work-related accident rate is also relatively high in the sectors education and construction.
Important factors in relation to sickness absence are gender, age, education level and company size. If these factors are also taken into account, these three branches still have the highest percentage of work-related sickness absence.

Share most recent work-related sickness absence, 2013

Share most recent work-related sickness absence, 2013

Long-term sickness absence more common among older employees

If the cause of a person’s sickness is work-related, the period of absence tends to be longer than if there is no relation between sickness and work. Within the sectors transport and storage and construction, long-term absence due to sickness occurs relatively often. Company size, education level and gender are irrelevant, but age is an important factor. Older employees more often report sick for a long period of time than their young colleagues. 
The results referred to in this publication are based upon the National Survey Labour Conditions conducted by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and Statistics Netherlands.

Sickness absence by sector (excluding agriculture), 2013

Sickness absence by sector (excluding agriculture), 2013