Quality of employment Staff on sick leave

This figure indicates the extent of sickness notifications of employees. In Germany, em­ployees reporting sick are entitled to receive continued full pay from their em­ployer. That entitlement generally is limited to six weeks per year. Afterwards, the health in­su­rance institutions pay sickness benefit. When calculating the indicator, only those no­ti­fications of sickness are in­clu­ded which that exceed an absence duration. The number of sick days is therefore likely to be higher.

Employees reported sick for 15.0 days in 2022

In 2022, employees in Germany reported sick for an average 15.0 working days. The increase compared with 2021 (+ 3.8 sick days) is likely to be due to the occurance of major waves of influenza and colds.

From 2008 to 2016, there was a moderate increase in the number of sick days. After a slight decline in the years 2017 and 2018, the number of sick days has increased again since 2019.

Smallest number of days of sick leave in 2007

In 2007, the smallest number of days of absence were recorded since 1991, when the average had been 12.7 days of sick leave. The figure was down to 8.1 in 2007, which is a 36% decrease. Possible reasons for that trend might be an improved health situation or the decrease of work involving health risks (for example in industry). Also, the fear of losing their job may cause employees to report sick less often. Especially in periods of weak eco­no­mic activity, the number of sickness no­ti­fi­cations decreases, as is shown by the de­ve­lop­ment since 1991.


Proportion of people reporting sick rises slightly again

The proportion of employees reporting sick is a piece of information com­ple­men­ting the data on the average length of sick leave periods. The average share has developed parallel to the average number of days of sick leave since 1991. At the time, 5.1% of the employees had reported sick. In 2006, the share of sickness notifications reached its low (3.3%). In 2022, an average of 6.0% of the employees reported sick.

Information on the Indicator

Description or definition
Staff on sick leave per employee per year (in days).

The indicator “staff on sick leave in days” is the average number of days of absence due to sick leave per employee per year.

Labour Volume Accounting (IAB).

Information for interpretation
Staff on sick leave refers to the average number of days of absence because of in­ability to work per employee. As the basis for the calculations are based on reports of sickness certificates, it is necessary to know that such a sickness certificate that attests the in­abi­li­ty to work are usually submitted only after three days of absence.

For methodological information on the IAB Labour Volume Accounting please refer to the website of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB).