The fear of dismissal caused a drastic brake of absenteeism in Spain in the worst moments of the crisis. The economic recovery and the greater stability in employment that began in 2014 made the opposite happen, that the lack of work to recover and year after year they have marked record ratios. Like the sale of automobiles or electricity consumption, absenteeism is probably one of the most reliable indicators of economic recovery. This can be seen in many recent studies, in which the upward curve of the macroeconomic indicators is almost parallel to the one recorded by labor casualties.
Last year the Spanish economy grew by 2.6% and 566,200 jobs were created. And in the heat of this growth, the cost of absenteeism rose slightly more than 10% to 85,140 million, the equivalent of seven points of the Gross Domestic Product, according to a study by the Association of Mutual Societies of Work Accidents (AMAT).
According to this work of the employers, during the past year 1,014,707 workers, 5.3% of the total employed, missed their work day. It is the same as saying that the total number of employed persons in Galicia or the Basque Country would not have worked for a single day in 2018 or that they had not done so, for example, half of those employed in the Valencian Community.
The direct cost of this absenteeism for economic benefits borne by the mutual and management entities of the Social Security amounted to 7,498.54 million last year, 12,892% more than in 2017. And the cost that had to assume the companies -bonus the economic benefit enjoyed from the 4th and the 15th day by the worker- it was 6,900 million, 9.67% more than a year earlier. Taking as reference the GDP of 2018, it is obtained that the value of the goods and services that would have stopped producing and lending by just over one million workers amounts to 70,741 million, says AMAT.
The crisis marked in 2008 a point of inflexion in the expenses dedicated to temporary disability (7,450 million) and from there the curve began to fall, coinciding with the blackest stage for the Spanish economy. This trend was reversed as of 2013, when the cost of benefits had been reduced to 5 billion. Since then the curves of spending, days of low, absences from work or average incidence have not stopped growing.
Today, Spain continues to lead the way in absenteeism rates. Adecco's data suggest that this imbalance is higher in those countries where coverage by illness is more generous. This is the case of Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Australia, Canada and the United States, which correspond to the countries with the highest historical level of sick leave, although Spain is below Switzerland and Finland.
In the employers' report on mutuals it is stated that in 2018 there were 5,212,692 temporary disability processes due to common contingencies, 12.70% more than in 2017. And the average incidence, which measures the average number of processes initiated For every one thousand workers, it increased almost 10% in the number of workers employed. In the processes of the self-employed, the rise was 3.15% for the same period. The self-employed are discharged by sickness much less than salaried employees and their absences from work are longer because they are due to illnesses that force the worker to stop without remedy. This group thinks a lot about their absences because if they do not go to their jobs their livelihood stops.
Dismissal of the worker
In 2012, the labor reform introduced the possibility of dismissing a worker for absenteeism and in 2013 the government approved the draft law on mutuals, a rule with which, on the one hand, it sought to curb fraud in sick leave and, on the other, , introduce high doses of transparency in some agencies that manage, between professional contingencies and economic benefits, around 12,000 million public funds.
The employer's association of work accident mutuals warns of «Scarce» impact that the norm has had in the control of casualties. They return to claim that they can give medical highs, just as they are doing with work accidents and occupational diseases. His idea is to provide health care, simply with the consent of the worker, without the need for authorization from the public health service, and could be discharged, at least in traumatological pathologies.