Absent with Leave: The Implications of Demographic Change for Worker Absenteeism

11 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2013

See all articles by Finn Poschmann

Finn Poschmann

C.D. Howe Institute

Omar Chatur

C.D. Howe Institute

Date Written: September 24, 2013

Abstract

Over the past 30 years, sick days have risen in Canada’s workforce, overall, raising important questions about why days lost owing to reported illness are climbing, and how demographic and institutional change may have affected reported rates and may do so in the future. The data show striking differences in absentee-rate trends based on age, sex, and union status. Days lost owing to illness vary across age groups: as the demographic weight of Canada’s population shifts from younger to older categories, reported days lost rise. Absence rates for female versus male workers of all ages and types have diverged over the course of the last few decades, with females taking more days off and men’s rate showing little change. Public-sector employees report more workplace absences than do private-sector employees. Workers in unionized settings take more sick leave days than those in non-union settings. Workplaces and government practices and policies must adjust to these realities, through a combination of accommodation, flexibility and planning.

Keywords: Social Policy, Labour Markets

JEL Classification: J21

Suggested Citation

Poschmann, Finn and Chatur, Omar, Absent with Leave: The Implications of Demographic Change for Worker Absenteeism (September 24, 2013). C.D. Howe Institute E-Brief No. 165. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2336110 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2336110

Finn Poschmann (Contact Author)

C.D. Howe Institute ( email )

67 Yonge St., Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1J8
Canada
416-865-1904 (Phone)
416-865-1866 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cdhowe.org

Omar Chatur

C.D. Howe Institute ( email )

67 Yonge St., Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1J8
Canada

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