Sick, lazy or both?

Right off the bat, I am not included to blame the government for this statistic but I do find it curious. Since 1999, the absenteeism rate in New Brunswick has ballooned from 5.6% in 1999 to 8.5% in 2005. That’s a 52% increase. There hasn’t been an absenteeism rate in New Brunswick over 7% since Stats Canada began tracking this in the 1980s.

Weird, huh?

Are you skipping work to blog?

Absence rates of full-time employees
New Brunswick (%)

1999 – 5.6
2000 – 6.2
2001 – 7.8
2002 – 7.7
2003 – 7.8
2004 – 7.6
2005 – 8.5

Source: Statistics Canada

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0 Responses to Sick, lazy or both?

  1. to it and at it says:

    Just an anecdote, but absenteeism at call centers seems to be higher than anywhere else I’ve worked. Maybe because the job is inherently frustrating, or the workers are relatively young.

  2. David Campbell says:

    That’s a fabulous insight. There are an estimated 15,000 people working in call centres in New Brunswick. If that industry has a double absenteeism rate it would pull up the overall rate.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not just that. Absenteeism goes up wherever working conditions get longer longer and harder. Perhaps its time to look at that european standby-the 35 hour work week.

  4. scott says:

    Perhaps its time to look at that european standby-the 35 hour work week.

    Perhaps it’s time we let people work 50 hours a week for kickass wages. That’s the reality of a booming economy. Stressfull, competitive and rewarding.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “How long is the European working week?

    Almost all collective agreements set basic weekly working hours for full-time staff at between 35 hours and 40 hours a week, White collar workers across Europe continue to work less hours than blue collar workers, although this gap is narrowing over time.

    Since our bloggers favourite economic ‘tiger’ is Ireland, let’s look at their ‘booming economy’.

    Ireland:

    Average hours all workers: 38.2
    ” full time workers: 42
    % time absent from work: 9.8

    That means in Ireland the average full time worker works 38 hours a week, and that’s with a legal limit of 48 hours.

    So how exactly that’s not ‘rewarding or competitive’ is beyond me.

    YOU are perfectly free to work 50 hours a week if you want. In fact anybody CAN. Even if you’re unemployed theres tons of work to be done, there are thousands of volunteer organizations who would love to see you working.

    Having done that, and knowing many people who work those types of hours I’ve seen few people who actually enjoy it, and virtually nobody I’ve ever met would actively choose that ‘rewarding, competitive’ work over something as unrewarding or uncompetitive as playing with thier kids, going for walks (or doing other things) with their spouse, meeting friends, engaging in their communities and churches, etc.

    People work those types of hours because they HAVE to. Why that is rewarding is beyond me. Perhaps if your idea of rewarding is lots of money so you can buy more useless crap then that makes sense. But clearly that’s NOT the reality of a booming economy, thats the reality of a SLAVE economy. Don’t confuse the two.

    In fact, if you look at the knowledge economy that the OECD is maintaining as Canada’s only hope for future prosperity, the long hours are a detriment. Go look at the hiring practises of biotech companies. They know damn well that a burnt out brain is of little value to them, which is why the gap in working hours between white collar and blue collar workers is growing in Canada-the opposite of Europe.

    Again, I always find it interesting the ideology that although people are free to work as long as they want, the reverse is never true. Some people just don’t seem to be happy with the idea that other people are different from them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is absenteeism defined as simply not being at work, or does it take into account maternity leave and sick days?

  7. Anonymous says:

    And actually, with a high unemployment rate, you are far better off helping companies hire more people for less hours than the reverse.