Czechs spending longer on sick leave

Photo: František Tichý

Czechs spent a total of more than 70 million days on sick leave last year, which is an increase of five percent on the previous year, according to the newly released data by the Czech Statistical Office. In other words, some 160 thousand people missed work on any given day due to illness or injury. The highest number of sick days was taken by people working in the processing industry.

Photo: František Tichý
“Most people took sick leave due to an illness. In 2.9 percent of cases they stayed at home due to an injury at work and in 8.9 percent of cases the injury happened outside the workplace,” the spokeswoman for the Czech Statistical Office, Petra Báčová, told Czech Radio.

The highest number of sick leaves was recorded in the Liberec, Pilsen and Karlovy Vary regions. The lowest number of sick leaves was taken by people in the Prague, Olomouc and South Moravian regions. Women tend to claim more days on sick leave than men.

Over the past 10 years, the average length of sick leaves has increased quite significantly. While in 2006 the average was 35 days, last year, that figure increased to 43 days.

The highest level of absenteeism can be found among people working in the processing industry, where the risk of injury is higher than in other areas of work. The most common injuries include falls from heights, broken legs and concussion.

Under the current system, Czechs receive 70 percent of their average daily salary during sick leave, with the exception of the first three days when they are unpaid. Last year, the Czech Social Security Administration paid out nearly 17 billion crowns in sickness benefits, which is nearly 1.5 billion more than in 2015.