Employees go to work more than one in four sick days, study finds


Being sick does not stop French employees. They went to work more than one in four sick days, a phenomenon of “presenteeism in case of illness”, according to a study by the Ministry of Labor published Wednesday.

According to this study, based on 19,200 responses to a survey conducted from October 2015 to June 2016, “employees report an average of eleven days of illness which resulted in eight days of absence from work”, specifies the Department of Studies and Statistics (Dares).

“More than one in four days of illness (27%) resulted in presenteeism, a practice which consists of going to work while being ill,” notes the Dares.

Work despite everything

At the European level, this phenomenon is particularly marked in France, where 62% of employees had at least one day of presenteeism in the event of illness in 2015, against 42% of employees in the whole of the European Union, according to a survey. European Union on working conditions.

“The propensity for presenteeism […] It varies firstly according to the state of health of the employees: the higher the annual number of sick days, the lower the proportion of days of presenteeism in the company, ”explains Dares.

Employees who only report one or two sick days in the year spend 83% of those days at work, against 21% for those with more than fifteen days of sickness.

The importance of working conditions

Working conditions also play an important role in the propensity of employees to come to work while being sick. Thus, “employees who report bad relations with their hierarchy, intense work or a feeling of economic insecurity tend to spend at work a greater part of their sick days,” notes the Dares.

“When faced with a significant demand for work (in terms of intensity, quantity or working time), or when there is a lack of means to do one’s job properly […], the employee could be discouraged from being absent by the prospect of an even greater amount of work on his return from illness or by the pressure of colleagues on whom the unfulfilled tasks would fall, ”she analyzes.

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