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Sickness Absence in the Nordic Countries
Nordic Council of Ministers, NOMESCO-NOSOSCO.
Responsible organisation
2015 (English)Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

The present report gives an overview of what is known about sickness absence in the Nordic countries. Several previous reports have shown that long-term sickness absence is high in Norway and Sweden, low in Denmark and Iceland, and Finland is somewhere in between. The present report also studies short-term sickness absence (i.e. sickness absence of less than 8 days). We find that short-term sickness absence has an almost opposite pattern. Norway has the lowest rate of short-term sickness absence, Sweden and Finland are in the middle and Denmark has the highest rate of short-term sickness absence (no data was available from other countries).

So far, the comparisons of sickness absence between the Nordic countries have used questionnaire data. In the present report, we also present sickness absence data from the national registers of the Nordic countries. The register data in general show the same results as the questionnaire data, however, due to differences in how the Nordic countries register sickness absence, we cannot draw any final conclusions.

Finally, we explore the sickness absence reduction strategies used in the Nordic countries. The Nordic countries have used similar strategies to reduce sickness absence (e.g. close follow-up of long-term sick-listed, workability assessment and partial sick leave possibilities). The close follow-up of sick listed with workability assessment has shown mixed results; however, the possibility for partial sick leave appears to include more people with reduced workability in the labour market in all Nordic countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen: NOMESCO / NOSOSCO , 2015. , 69 p.
Keyword [en]
Sickness absence, statistics
Keyword [da]
Sygefravær, statistik
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Welfare; Working conditions; Statistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3903ISBN: ISBN 978-87-90248-67-3OAI: diva2:811504
Available from: 2015-05-12 Created: 2015-05-12 Last updated: 2015-07-15

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