Drop in sick-leave by taking holidays in August

The expected rise continues to demand mutual responsibility on the part of employees and employers.
The average absenteeism rate in the Netherlands has dropped in August to 3.9% (compared to 4.2% in July 2021). Hence, it was said to be the effect of the holidays: people unwind, recharge their batteries and report sick less often. In spite of this drop, absenteeism remains higher than usual during this period of the year. That emerges from figures published by the occupational health & safety services HumanCapitalCare and ArboNed, both part of the HumanTotalCare group and jointly serving around one million working people.

Fewer reports of corona and greater calmness as a result of holidays

In July and August, absenteeism is usually lower than in the rest of the year. This is due to the summer holiday. In contrast to previous years, the absenteeism rate did not drop in July of this year. "The peak in the number of corona cases was a game changer at that time," says Jurriaan Penders, medical officer and director of medical matters at HumanCapitalCare. "This shifted in August and we received fewer new sick calls related to corona. Also as a result of holidays, fewer people were working and for those who did work, this was often a more relaxed period. Therefore, the average absenteeism rate still dropped this past summer and we noticed the usual holiday effect."

Corona continues to cause additional absence from work

At 3.9%, the absenteeism rate remains higher than normal for this time of the year. For example, the absenteeism rate due to the corona pandemic in 2019 was 3.5%. Penders: "To a large extent this is related to the corona virus. We continue to see the impact of the virus. This is also as a result of long-term symptoms, the so-called long-COVID, which some people continue to experience after being infected with corona."

Continue to take responsibility

Every year in September, after the drop due to holidays, HumanCapitalCare and ArboNed normally see a rise again. "Because the change of season, we tend to sit more indoors, closer to one another and we often keep the windows and doors shut. Ideal conditions for infectious diseases," continues Penders. "Also after the easing of measures and restrictions, it is important that employers and employees continue jointly to take responsibility. Therefore, work from home, if that's possible and go to work only if necessary."