Highest increase in sick-leave since March 2020
After relinquishing the advice of working from home, the number of infections at workplaces has doubled.
The average absenteeism rate rose in October 2021 to 4.6% (compared to 4.2% in September). That is the highest increase since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020. This emerged from figures from ArboNed and HumanCapitalCare, both part of HumanTotalCare and jointly serving around one million working people. According to the occupational health & safety providers, since relinquishing the advice to work from home at the end of September, the number of reported sick-leaves due to corona infections in workplaces has more than doubled. Working from home and, if that's not possible, then taking extra measures at the workplace can prevent a rise in absenteeism.
The increase is exceptionally high for this time of the year.
The increase in sick-leave was higher than expected during this part of the year. "In October, among the Dutch workforce there was an average of 50,000 more sick employees per day than in September," says Jurriaan Penders, medical officer and director of medical affairs at HumanCapitalCare. "With the exception of the past year, we do see a slight peak in sick-leave every year during this season. However, this year the peak is exceptionally high. The reason is mainly because of the increase of flu and cold complaints and the countrywide rise in the number of corona infections."
Doubling of corona virus infections at workplaces
Occupational health & safety providers ArboNed and HumanCapitalCare are seeing that in addition to the rise in absenteeism due to corona, employees also state that the workplace is often a source of potential infections. Penders: "Since relinquishing the advice of working from home at the end of September, we see that the rate of absenteeism has more than doubled: From 10% at the end of September to 25% in the first week of November. At the same time, we see that the share of infections in the private sector has actually dropped during this period.”
Penders: "Not all employees are happy that once again they have to work a lot from home. As an employer, it is always important to stay alert with regard to employees who find working from home a physical and mental burden. Make sure you offer this group a suitable solution and recruit assistance well in time.”