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    Sharp increase in long-term sickness absence in Belgium

    3 % of the work force absent more than a year In the first half of 2016, 7.4 % of workers in the private sector were absent due to illness, according to a survey by human resource service provider Securex. Absences due to long-term illnesses (more than one year) are rising sharply.

    Thus, in the first half of 2015, 2.8 % of workers were absent for more than a year, against 3.1 % in 2016, an increase by 11%, according to Securex. The absence rates for those ill less than one month or between one month and one year are stable.

    The increase in long-term illnesses is slightly higher among blue-collar workers (+ 12%) than white-collar employees (+ 8%), notes Securex.

    Long-term sicknesses increased sharply among 30-34 year-olds (+ 21%) as well as 35-49 year-olds (+ 11%), “age groups with children”, according to Securex.

    However, the age groups most affected by long absences are those over 55 years of age. 17 % of workers aged between 60 and 64 years were long-term absent in the first half of 2016.

    The study was conducted among 25 000 private sector employers who recorded the absence of 2 230 000 employees.

    The Brussels Times (Source: Belga)