Number of sick days due to workplace infection more than doubled

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The average absenteeism rate rose to 4.6% in October 2021 (up from 4.2% in September). This is the largest increase since the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020.

According to the health and safety service providers, the number of sick calls due to corona contamination through the work environment has more than doubled since the release of the work-at-home advice in late September.

The increase in absenteeism is higher than expected at this time of year. Of the Dutch labor force, an average of 50,000 more workers were sick on a workday in October than in September. With the exception of last year, this season does see a slight spike in absenteeism every year. This year, however, the spike is exceptionally high. This is mainly due to the increase in flu and cold symptoms and the nationwide rise in corona infections.

Doubling infection of coronavirus in workplace

In addition to the increase in absenteeism due to corona, the occupational health and safety service providers are also noticing that employees are more frequently citing the work environment as a possible source of infection. Says Penders, “Since releasing the work-at-home advice at the end of September, we have seen a more than doubling in this percentage. From 10% at the end of September, to 25% in the first week of November. At the same time, we see that the proportion of infections in the private sphere actually decreased during this period.”

Stay alert

Penders: “Not all employees like the fact that they now have to work a lot from home again. As an employer, it remains important to remain alert to employees for whom working from home leads to physical or mental strain. Provide appropriate solutions for this group and get help in time.”


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