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Staff in secondary education sick for longer

Secondary education staff were sick on average more days in 2021 than in the previous year. This figure rose for the second year in a row. Teachers and management were at home on average for 20 sick days. Among their colleagues from support, the average absenteeism due to illness was 28 days longer than a week longer.

It turns out from new figures of the labor market platform Voion that were published today. The AOb is part of this platform together with other unions and the employers' organization.

Strong increase

'A sharply increased duration of absenteeism', is what the researchers call the trend among educational support staff. In 2019 they were sick for an average of 18 days and in 2020 this increased by six days to 24 days. And in 2021 there were another 4 extra sick days. This trend can also be seen among their colleagues in the teaching staff: the average number of sick days rose from 17 in 2020 to 20 in 2021. In 2019 it was still 14 days.

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The fact that staff was sick at home for longer can be due to corona. "Maybe that lung covid plays a role in this," the report says. But the exact cause is a guess. For example, the increase in the average age in secondary education may also play a role because the state pension age has been raised. Another option is that there are more burnout complaints due to a high workload.

However, the absenteeism rate decreased slightly in 2021 compared to a year earlier. This percentage indicates how much of the working time is lost to absenteeism due to illness. This percentage decreased slightly for both teachers and support staff. "And that is remarkable," the report said. Especially because in 2021 they still had to deal with corona measures in secondary education and therefore different working conditions. One of the possible explanations for the decline is working from home and teaching online classes. Employees who had normally called in sick were able to continue working in this way.

Practical education

The researchers also see that the highest absenteeism due to illness in 2021 - just as in 2020 - was seen among teaching staff and oops in practical education. There was a clear decrease in the VMBO-T school type. As in previous years, absenteeism is lowest in Reformed, Reformed and Evangelical schools. The percentage of employees who did not call in sick once in a year remained virtually the same for teaching staff at 42 percent and for open staff at 53 percent.

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