There have never been so many sick people at work: “We really feel that people are in difficult situations”

There have never been so many sick people at work: “We really feel that people are in difficult situations”

Never in recent years have there been so many sick people at work as in 2022, Acerta said on Tuesday. Short-term sickness absenteeism – absence from the workplace for less than 30 days – peaked at an average of 7.5 days per worker. That’s more than a full day more than in previous years, the HR service provider’s annual short-term illness absenteeism report reveals, based on actual figures of 260,000 workers in more than 40,000 private companies.

For this doctor, it is clear that this is a problem. “A lot of people come to the consultation and cry, can’t take it anymore, collapse,” she explains. “We all experienced the Covid crisis, then the energy crisis. We feel that people are in great difficulty, especially financially”.

The percentage of the working population who stayed at least one day a month at home due to illness last year is also higher than ever, insists Acerta: 13.86%, or no less than one in seven workers In 2021, this figure was still 1 in 8 and in 2019, 1 in 10. In addition, 2.83% of working days were not worked as a result of absenteeism for short-term illness , which is also the highest proportion in the last four years.

The increase in absenteeism for short-term illness is visible “in all sectors, all age categories combined, among workers and employees, and in both large and small companies”, details Acerta.

Absenteeism for short-term illness is nevertheless higher among employees aged 30 to 35. “Among the sectors, absenteeism for short-term illness is the biggest challenge for the non-profit sector, with more than 9 sick days per worker”, further specifies Acerta. Faced with these figures, “a sustainable policy in terms of absenteeism for illness becomes more necessary than ever for Belgian companies”, concludes Acerta.

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