Report Summary

Out of office: An overview of workplace absenteeism in Europe is an Economist Intelligence Unit report, supporter by Pfizer. It examines the causes of sick leave, how the cost of sick leave cover is divided between state, employer and employee, and how workplace absenteeism can be prevented.

Why read this report

  • Our research brought to light a complex web of national regulatory frameworks determining how sick leave cover is to be split between the employee, the employer and the state. In each country, benefits are determined by a different range of factors, including age, length of service and sector.
  • Offering very limited sick leave benefits or none at all can help to lower rates of workplace absenteeism. The savings made, however, need to be assessed in light of more employees going into work despite being ill.
  • Workplace improvements can help employers reduce the number of sick days. These include redesigning the workspace to suite the demographics of their workforce; providing easy and quick access to healthcare once employees fall ill; and offering access to counselling.



Published:February 19th 2014

Lois Rogers
Sara Mosavi

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