Absence rate again highest in health care sectorIn 2019, employees in the health care sector had the highest absenteeism rates. Ranking second highest were workers at water and waste management companies (both 5.7 percent). Although health care workers have only had the highest absenteeism rate since 2018, it has been above average for years. It is especially high among employees in nursing homes and homes for the elderly: 68 out of each 1,000 working days were missed due to illness.
Prior to 2018, sick leave was most prevalent among government employees (in 2019: 5.5 percent). Last year, above-average rates were also seen in manufacturing (5.4 percent), transport and storage (5.1 percent) and education (5.0 percent). Traditionally, the lowest rates are seen in the accommodation and food services sector. In 2019, the agricultural sector had the lowest rate for the first time at 2.6 percent.
The rise in absenteeism rates as of 2014 has been visible across virtually all sectors. The only exception is the financial services sector, where it dropped to 2.7 percent.
|Sector||Absenteeism rate 2019|
|Health and welfare||5.7|
|Water and waste management||5.7|
|Transport and storage||5.1|
|Mining and quarrying||4.1|
|Renting and other business services||3.9|
|Culture, sports and recreation||3.6|
|Real estate activities||3.2|
|Information and communication||3.2|
|Specialised business services||3|
|Accommodation and food services||2.7|
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing||2.6|
More flu, colds and psychological complaintsQuarterly figures on illness-related absenteeism are calculated on the basis of a survey which is held among employers. However, this survey does not provide any data on which complaints are causing the absenteeism. The Netherlands Working Conditions Survey (NEA), which is jointly conducted by Statistics Netherlands and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), does provide such data (most recent figures are over 2018).
Out of all employees who stayed at home in 2018, 44.1 percent had flu or cold complaints as the reason for their last recorded absence. This is more than in 2014, when this reason was given by 40.2 percent. Other complaints that were mentioned more frequently in 2018 included psychological, mental exhaustion or burnout complaints: 7.2 percent as against 5.7 percent in 2014.
|Complaints during most recent employee absence||2018||2014|
|Flu or cold symptoms||44.1||40.2|
|Psychological problems, anxiety, burnout||7.2||5.7|
|Related to hips, legs, knees or feet||4.7||5|
|Related to neck, shoulders, arms, wrists or hands||4.6||5.4|
|Fatigue or concentration problems||2.5||2.8|
|Related to ears or eyes||1.2||1|
|Related to skin||0.6||0.6|
|Conflict at work||0.6||0.6|
|Source: CBS, TNO|