Unscheduled absenteeism by Dutch workers is at an all-time high and the healthcare sector is hit the hardest, according to national statistics agency CBS. During the first three months of the year, the average absenteeism percentage rose to 6.3 percent, from 4.8 percent a year ago.
Absenteeism means unscheduled time off for any reason. The above figures reflect both sick days and days missed for personal or family reasons, though the former appear to account for the vast majority of missed days.
The absenteeism rate for nursing, care and home care is the highest among all sectors of the economy at 10.4% – 1.8 percentage points up from the previous year. The inactivity rate of child care workers saw an even steeper climb, from 6.9 to 10 percent. Both these sectors have already been struggling for some time, with low pay, demanding work and a lack of benefits driving workers out of these industries for good during the pandemic.
Sickness absence rose to a record high this year, too. Mental health clearly plays a huge influence and is an ever-growing, ongoing issue. This year, 6% of absentees complained of stress, psychological issues, and professional burnout. However the most often cited cause for missing work was flu and common cold.
The CBS data reveals a clear gap between public and private sector absenteeism, as government workers take considerably more sick days than those in the private sector.