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Costs related to work-related stress

The societal costs of absenteeism and disability in 2001 were calculated for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in the Netherlands. A model was constructed as a tool to establish the relevant indicators (NL0412NU01). The basis of the model is that an individual’s work results in the delivery of products, and adds to the productivity of the organisation as a whole. However, unfavourable working conditions will result in ill-health or accidents, which may result in the employee leaving work, or requiring medical care and costs, which possibly lead to longer-term disability costs. Preventive measures also have a cost but, when they are effective, they can reduce the number of days lost due to sick leave.

For the Netherlands, Koningsveld et al (2004) calculated that costs of absenteeism and disability amounted to €12 billion (NL0412NU01). The largest costs related to work-related sick leave and disability, mainly caused by psychological and musculoskeletal disorders, each accounting for about 22% (€3 billion) of the total costs. Evidently, absenteeism and disability, due to psychological and musculoskeletal disorders, are a major problem in Dutch society.

In Germany, a considerable increase can be observed in absenteeism due to psychological disorders. Since 1994, absenteeism in this regard increased by 74.4%, while the number of days lost rose by 36.7%. Depression was one of the major causes, accounting for 37% of all psychological disorders. The economic costs of psychological disorders was estimated to be €3 billion in 2001 (Fehlzeiten-Report 2003 - in German).


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Page last updated: 14 February, 2005
About this document
  • ID: TN0502TR01
  • Author: Irene Houtman
  • Country: EU Countries
  • Language: EN
  • Publication date: 14-02-2005
  • Subject: Psychosocial work factors, Stress and the workplace