Sick leave thrives in hot climate

26th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

26 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — Sick leave has spiked in the Netherlands during the high temperatures of the last few weeks.

26 July 2006

AMSTERDAM — Sick leave has spiked in the Netherlands during the high temperatures of the last few weeks.

The rates are "abnormally high", according to Hudson Human Capital Solutions, a firm that monitors sick leave for 900 companies in the Netherlands. "One takes account of seasonal factors when it comes to sick leave," Saskia Brasser of the company told newspaper 'De Telegraaf'.

"Normally absence as a result of illness is much lower in the summer than it is in the winter. Now we see scarcely any difference," she said.

The levels now are 10 percent higher compared to the same period last year. Hospitality, construction and distribution have been hardest hit as workers in these industries usually don't have the benefit of air conditioning.

"It has mostly to do with physical complaints like back problems and pain in the wrists. The warmth has repercussions on the [body's] movement apparatus," Brasser said.

The country is experiencing its second heatwave of July at the moment, with average temperatures of 25 to 30 degrees in the daytime from 15 July.

Temperatures of 35 degrees were recorded in some parts of the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Weather bureau KNMI said the unusually warm conditions will continue until at least the end of July. If the conditions persist, this could be the longest heatwave since records began in 1901.

The longest heatwave to date was in July and August 1975 when the average daytime temperature did not fall below 25 degrees for 18 days.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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