The Good Life, Zoomer Report

Absenteeism

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How much work do you miss every year? A survey by the Conference Board of Canada says the average full-time Canadian worker was absent a lot – 9.3 days in 2011.

Civil servants miss way more time — 12.9 days, compared to 8.2 days in the private sector.

Unionized workers are absent 13.2 days, compared with 7.5 days for non-unionized workers. The report notes public sector and union employees are typically entitled to more sick days. Labour advocates say they do so because they can, ‘and if non-union employees go into work sick, that it is dangerous for the people themselves and their coworkers.

Women are absent more often — 11.4 days, compared with 7.7 days for men. That would make sense since it’s usually women who are primary caregivers.

Young workers miss a lot fewer days. Those under 25 are absent about 6 days compared with 10 for those between 45 to 54 years old, and 13 days for workers between 55 and 64 year.

There’s a regional aspect: Albertans and Ontarians miss the fewest days while employees in Saskatchewan mist the most. The Conference board also reports that people in the professional, scientific and technical services industries — all areas unlikely to be unionized, the report noted — have the lowest rates of absenteeism, less than 6 days. The highest is in the health care and social assistance sector, 14 days.

Another finding: Employees from big companies with more than 500 workers miss far more days than those in offices with less than 20 people. The bottom line? It costs the Canadian economy about $16.5-billion last year —and that does not include finding replacements, delays, missed deadlines.

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