Sick days taken by workers in Spain soar by almost half in just five years

THE number of sick days taken by workers in Spain has leapt up by 43% on average since 2018 according to a new study.

The report from Umivale Activa and the Valencian Institute of Economic Research says that 5.9% of working days were lost last year to illness, compared to 4.1%- five years earlier.

Common illnesses and non-occupational accidents account for 91% of last year’s absenteeism total.


The authors of the study have pointed out the existence of very substantial differences between sectors, but there is also the persistence of significant regional differences in the absenteeism indicator within each of the sectors.

Absenteeism appears to vary significantly depending on the type of employment.

The Administrative Activities and Ancillary Services sector reached an absenteeism rate of 9.2% in 2023 while the Healthcare sector hit.

Information, Communications, and Professional Activities including science and technical jobs are below the 3% mark for lost days.

All sectors nevertheless have recorded increases in sick leave since 2018 with health and commerce accounting for nearly a third of sick leave taken last year.

In the case of the health sector, 681 sick leave processes were registered per thousand workers in 2023, while in administrative activities there were 676 sick leaves per thousand employees.

Those figures were well above the average figure of 473 covering all sick leave taken in Spain.

The seven highest regions for absenteeism from work are the Canary Islands, the Basque Country, Galicia, Cantabria, Asturias, Catalunya and the Murcia region- all with overall absenteeism rates above 6.5%.

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