What makes you work while you are sick? Evidence from a survey of union members

Working Papers 244 Petri Böckerman, Erkki Laukkanen

We examine the prevalence of sickness absenteeism and presenteeism, using survey data covering 725 Finnish union members in 2008. Controlling for worker characteristics, we find that sickness presenteeism is much more sensitive to workingtime arrangements than sickness absenteeism. Permanent full-time work, mismatch between desired and actual working hours, shift or period work and overlong working weeks increase the prevalence of sickness presenteeism. We also find an interesting trade-off between two sickness categories: regular overtime decreases sickness absenteeism, but increases sickness presenteeism. Furthermore, the adoption of three days’ paid sickness absence without a sickness certificate and the easing of efficiency demands decrease sickness presenteeism.

Keywords: Absenteeism, presenteeism, working-time arrengements
Published: 1.9.2008
ISBN: 978-952-209-060-7
ISSN: 1795-1801
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