Almost two-thirds of Belgian workers (64%) were off sick at least one day in 2018, SD Worx reported on Friday. The human resources agency indicated that absences due to illness continued to increase in Belgium, reaching an annual average of 12.6 days per person in 2018, up from 9.4 days in 2008. The overall rate of absences from work increased by 40% between 2008 and 2018, moving from 4.15% to 5.5%, SD Worx added.
The short-duration sick-leave rate (absences of less than one month) went from 2.63% – 2.63 for every 100 working days – to 2.78% in the same period.
However, longer absences due to illness, ranging from one month to a year, accounted for most of the increase in sick-leave rates. Long-duration sick leave went up by 75.1% during the period under review, jumping from 1.73% in 2008 to 3.03% in 2018, SD Worx noted.
“The increase in long absences is higher in very big organisations with over 1,000 workers,” said François Lombard, Senior Consultant at SD Worx. “Below 50 workers, it stabilises and even decreases slightly. Nevertheless, it’s a point of attention for all these companies.”