Workers in Belgium have taken an average of 5.6 days off so far in 2022 due to short-term sick leave, one full day more than in previous years, a study by Acerta human resources company has found.
Acerta released their study on the subject on Wednesday, after surveying 260,000 workers in more than 40,000 private companies.
The study only looked at those who took less than a month off due to short-term ailments, with the average amount of days off taken by Belgian workers standing at 5.6 days this year. 12.3% of workers have been ill at least once this year – the highest number in the last four years.
Acerta expressed concern that the increasing number of staff taking days off will put pressure on companies already bearing the brunt of inflation and the energy crisis.
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The survey put the increase down to the declining rate of teleworking, as ill workers would have previously been able to continue working from home.
Olivier Marcq, a legal advisor at Acerta, stated that "since the pandemic, we have developed the reflex of not wanting to infect anyone and so staying home more often."
Moreover, the end of school holidays and the start of the new school year led to parents taking sick days off as colds and the flu has spread like wildfire in schools and nurseries.