DAK: highest sick leave in 15 years
In the last year of 2011, Germans were on sick leave significantly more frequently than in the same period in 2010, which means that the number of sick days has reached a peak in 15 years, as the health report 2012 of the German employee health insurance DAK showed.
The number of sick days has increased again in Germany and reached the highest level in fifteen years. The average sick leave in 2011 was around 3.6 percent, as the health expert at the health insurance fund, Prof. Dr. Herbert Rebscher announced at a press conference on Tuesday. As part of a study, the DAK had evaluated the patient data from 2.4 million sick days. It turned out that an employee subject to social security contributions was statistically absent from the workplace for 13.2 days last year due to an illness. In the same period in 2010, Germans were on sick leave for 12.5 days (3.4 percent). "Sick leave rose last year by 0.2 percentage points to 3.6 percent. This is the highest level in 15 years. Today, every employee is sick on average two days a year longer than in 2006."
Demographic change shares responsibility According to the expert, the rise in sick leave shows the first effects of demographic change. Because of the better medical care, people in Germany are getting older and are therefore working longer. Today, workers are on average ten years older than they used to be. "On average, older people are sick less often than younger people, but the illness lasts longer," explained Rebscher. Because demographic change has only just begun and people are getting older than they are today, the health expert forecast a further increase in absenteeism in the coming years. Age-related diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases as well as back or lower back pain will continue to increase and cause an increasing sick leave. Especially since the retirement age is raised further. A few weeks ago, the Federal Employment Agency reported that "the proportion of 60 to 65 year olds in terms of total employment has almost tripled in the past ten years."
Highest sick leave in the area of administration and health care Insured persons in the area of public administration were particularly often ill. Here the sick leave rate was around 4.2 percent. Health care workers (hospitals, care facilities) were sick almost as often. Here the rate was 4.1 percent. Employees in the area of transport, storage and courier services achieved a percentage of illness of 4.0 percent.
The lowest sickness rate was recorded in the media, culture and education sector with 2.7 percentage points. Insurance and finance employees were also largely spared from illnesses with 3.0 percent. Legal advisory staff were 3.1 percent and retailers 3.4 percent.
Musculoskeletal disorders most common Most days of illness cause illnesses and back pain in the area of the muscle and skeleton spectrum. The proportion of health insured DAK members was 21.3 percent measured on all sick days. Diseases in the respiratory system (cough, runny nose, flu) ranked second with 16.1 percent. Injuries from accidents accounted for 13.9 percent. Mental disorders such as depression or burn-out were already in fourth place with 13.4 percent. In fifth place are diseases in the digestive system such as gastrointestinal flu or abdominal pain (6.0 percent). (sb)
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