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Absence from work

July 2010

Comparative study  [ pdf version size 203 kb ]  - see also the Executive Summary  [ pdf version size 43.51 kb ]

This study addresses patterns of absence from the 27 EU Member States and Norway, the costs involved, policies for dealing with absence and general developments in relation to promoting health and well-being. Average rates of absence across Europe are between 3% and 6% of working time. A reasonable estimate of the cost is about 2.5% of GDP. There is also evidence of presenteeism – the practice of attending work while ill – although there is a general lack of data on trends. While some countries are attempting to control costs, others put the emphasis on promoting well-being.

The study was compiled on the basis of individual national reports submitted by the EWCO correspondents. The text of each of these national reports is available below. The reports have not been edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The national reports were drawn up in response to a questionnaire and should be read in conjunction with it.

Contributing articles:

Page last updated: 20 July, 2010