Absenteeism decreases, but psychosocial disorders increase

While France has known for several months a worrying health situation due to the coronavirus, the annual absenteeism barometer published by Malakoff Humanis published Monday, November 16, draws a surprising observation: far from having exploded, the number of employees who have seen each other prescribing a work stoppage in the last twelve months has decreased (36%, compared to 44% in 2019). Compiling various surveys carried out by Ifop on behalf of Malakoff Humanis, this barometer excludes derogatory work stoppages for childcare and for people at risk.

Contrary to all expectations, the number of employees absent due to Covid-19, whether they themselves were sick or found themselves in a “contact case” is ultimately low. While these people represented a quarter (26%) of work stoppages in April, at the height of the crisis, this rate fell to 6% over the year as a whole.

According to the study, the overall drop in the number of employees arrested is explained first of all by the massive use of telework and partial unemployment. As people stay at home, the chances of catching an infection or having an accident are reduced.

In the midst of a pandemic, potential patients have also hesitated to contact their doctor. In a context of crisis, fear of the future can also encourage employees to continue working, even when they are sick. “There is anxiety linked to the health and economic context, notes Anne-Sophie Gaudon, director of innovation at Malakoff Humanis. Employees are afraid of losing their jobs ”.

Rise in psychological motives

This anxiety-provoking climate is not without consequences on mental health. The number of employees arrested due to psychological disorders has continued to grow since the start of the crisis, warns the barometer. Sickness leaves for depression, anxiety or burn-out fell from 9% at the start of 2020 to 14% during confinement, then to 18% since deconfinement. The latest survey on which the barometer is based was conducted from August 24 to September 24 by Ifop on a sample of 2,008 employees and 405 managers or HRDs of private sector companies.

Read also The concern of employees about Covid-19 risks increasing absenteeism

“Employees working from home can suffer from isolation and find it difficult to reconcile their personal and professional life, adds Anne-Sophie Gaudon as another explanation for this phenomenon. Some, especially those who stayed on site, saw their workload increase. In addition, there is the fear of the risk of infection ”.

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