Germans taking fewer sick days to keep jobs

Germans taking fewer sick days to keep jobs
Photo: DPA
German workers are taking fewer sick days than ever because they are afraid of losing their jobs, daily Die Welt reported on Monday.

According to the national department of health (BMG), German employees are logging the lowest number of sick days since statistics began in 1970. For the first half of 2009 employees missed 3.5 days of work, or 3.24 percent of working time. Ten years ago workers called in sick 23 percent more often, the paper said.

Joachim Möller, director of the institute for employment and occupational research (IAB), told Die Welt that people were worried about how their sick days reflect on their performances at work.

“In times of economic crisis, the numbers of people calling in sick sink,” he said.

The economic crisis has gripped Germany particularly hard. Authorities are estimating the economy will shrink by as much as six percent this year. Despite a slight drop in month-to-month unemployment figures, there are 250,000 fewer jobs in Germany than there were this time last year.

BMG numbers showed February had the highest number of days people missed due to illnesses (3.7 percent) and January had the least (2.24 percent) number of days missed.

Women are more likely to take the day off to recover than men, the paper added.

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