End of compensation for sick leave of less than eight days: what are the pathologies most affected ?

In order to reduce social security spending, the Court of Auditors proposed on May 29, 2024 to stop compensating sick leave of less than eight days. What are the pathologies most affected ?

The proposal from the Court of Auditors has already attracted a lot of attention. The end of compensation for sick leave of less than eight days would make it possible to fill part of the social security deficit. It is 4 billion euros more than in the initial forecasts estimated at 10.8 billion d&rsquo ;euros.

In a barometer on absenteeism, the group Malakoff-Humanis presents the major trends concerning sick leave. The data was collected in 2019, and highlights three main categories of ailments which justify stops of less than eight days for the French.

Infectious diseases

Seasonal illnesses of bacterial or viral origins represent 61% of short stops(less than three days) and 29% of average stoppages (between 4 and 30 days). Colds, flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis, Covid… and other everyday ailments, most of them benign.

Musculoskeletal disorders

In terms of medium or short stops, then come musculoskeletal disorders. In 2019, they represented 18% of short stops and 28% of medium stops.

Also read: More than one in two French people suffer from it: "Musculoskeletal disorders are an alarm"

Back and lumbar pain are the most common, with tendinitis, particularly of the wrist, and "rotator cuff syndrome" – attributed to carrying excessive loads.

Psychological disorders

Less obvious, they nonetheless remain very common among employees. Depression and burn-out often result in long-term sick leave, except at the beginning, before diagnosis.

Even when employees are not aware of their psychological illnesses, they are often led to take short breaks under the pretext of fatigue or stress. Psychological disorders represented 11% of short stoppages and 20% of average stoppages in 2019.

The study also points to the fact that 65% of the employees surveyed worked while sick the previous year. If the first reason (39%) was professional conscience, the fear of "letting oneself go" or acting badly at work, the second directly affected compensation for sick leave. 37% of respondents preferred not to take short-term leave due to waiting days or poor support.

Compensation for work stoppages represented 12 billion euros in 2022 for sick leave of private sector employees. Since 2017, the bill has increased by 50%. However, these figures should be qualified, in light of the pandemic which led to an increase in sick leave between 2020 and 2022.

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