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The sector that had the most absenteeism with the pandemic was construction

Absenteeism it is a more common practice than we can imagine. For this reason, the Adecco Group Institute, the study center of the Adecco Group, presented its “Adecco Report on healthy business and absenteeism management”.

Its objective is to periodically analyze the figures of this phenomenon in Spain, and in this second installment it focuses on how absenteeism has behaved in the main sectors (construction, industry and services) and in the economic activity sections.

As highlighted in the first installment, the pandemic has caused the absenteeism rate in Spain in 2020 to skyrocket to 7.1%, a new all-time high. The context in 2020 was completely atypical due to COVID-19, which led to an increase in work hours lost due to temporary disability (common illness or non-work accident), as well as other concepts, such as permits (for example, due to the need to care for sick family members) or hours lost in the workplace (eg, lack of supplies).

The working day in economic sectors

Since 2014, the agreed annual working hours has remained stable. Both in the industry like in the construction and in the services, stabilization is observed in the agreed hours slightly below 1,800 hours. In 2020, the average agreed working day per worker and month increased slightly, remaining at 1,800.9 hours.

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Within this stability, a slight upward trend is observed in construction, whereby the agreed hours went from 1,954 to 1,977 hours between 2016 and 2020: an increase of 23 hours per year, which is almost equivalent to three eight-hour days per day. In 2020, industry and services also showed a slight increase in the agreed hours, imitating what happened in the general average.

Regarding the hours not worked by ERTEs, the services showed a somewhat different behavior. On the one hand, they were the sector where more hours were stopped for this reason (126 hours per year, on average, per worker, compared to 107 hours in industry and 67 hours in construction). In addition, as the agreed annual working hours in services are the lowest, their hours lost due to ERTE were proportionally the most significant: 7.2%, more than double that in construction (3.4%) and widely more than in construction. industry (5.4%).

From the above it appears that effective agreed hours (Total agreed hours plus overtime hours less hours not worked due to vacations, holidays and ERTEs) of the services are also the ones that contracted the most in 2020. Specifically, the effective agreed working day was reduced by 112 hours per year, falling to 1,481 hours (7 % lower than the previous year).

At the other extreme, construction showed a reduction in the effective agreed working day of 52 hours, which in percentage terms implies a decrease of 2.9%. Thus, the effective agreed working day in the construction sector yielded up to 1,746 hours per year. For its part, the industry exhibited an intermediate situation, with a decrease in its effective agreed working day of 5.2% compared to 2019, equivalent to 92 hours less. The effective agreed working day of the industrial sector was 1,672 hours per year.

Hours not worked due to absenteeism

In the same way that happened at the national level, during 2020 new historical highs were reached in the three sectors in the hours lost due to absenteeism.

The greater increase It occurred in construction, a sector in which hours not worked due to absenteeism went from 65.1 to 91.8 between 2019 and 2020: an increase of 26.7 hours (+ 41%). Four years have already been linked with increases in absenteeism hours in the Construction sector. However, this did not prevent this sector from remaining the one with the lowest number of hours lost due to absenteeism.

In industry, hours not worked for this reason increased, on average, by 20.1 hours per worker and year (+ 20%). In this way, they totaled 120.3 hours, a figure that confirmed the industrial sector as the one in which a greater number of working hours are lost due to absenteeism. 2020 was the seventh year in a row that absenteeism hours increased in the industry.

The case of services has similarities with that of industry. Their hours not worked due to absenteeism also rose in 2020 for the seventh consecutive year and the latest increase was of a similar magnitude (17.1 hours, equivalent to a 19% increase). The difference in favor of the services is that, despite the above, their hours lost due to this cause are less, adding up to a total of 106.8.

The absenteeism rate during 2020 jumped in the three main economic sectors. The increase was practically the same in all three cases: 1.5 or 1.6 percentage points. In addition, in all three sectors, the 2020 absenteeism rate marked a new all-time high.

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