Warning! Public service is dangerous work

Just got a look at the new workforce absenteeism tables from Statistics Canada.  Did you know the average public sector worker takes double the days off for illness or disability than the average worker in the construction sector?  Time to recalibrate those workers’ compensation tables.

New Brunswick has an above average absenteeism rate.  All that hard work is driving us to stress leave?  I’m not big on cliches but the average unionized worker has almost double the rate of absentee days than the non-unionized worker.   I suspect that in general union and public service work enviroments are more accepting of absenteeism.  Bad thing? Who knows.  I’ve always worked in environments where if I needed a day off I took it without counting but you would find me in the office evenings and weekends as well.

4 thoughts on “Warning! Public service is dangerous work

  1. To quote Scott Adams (of Dilbert), “a company with sick days is a company with sick people.”

  2. There are declared absences, then there are undeclared absences. In the non-unionized sector, absences are often undeclared as they often simply mean fewer hours of work, e.g. when a worker is sick. Those situations are often not recorded as absences in the small business community, but they can be just as irritating to the employer. I wonder how much of the apparent difference in the tables are due to corporation/agency size, as the larger organizations are more likely to be unionized and have more rules for declaring time off work.

  3. Absences INCLUDE sick days, they also include days off for ‘personal responsibilities’ like for going to the dentist,etc. Of COURSE they are irritating to the employer, but are a good indicator of working conditions. As David points out, a higher percentage of NB workers are unionized public employees. In construction, you simply CAN”T take time off-that’s NOT a good thing. We already know canadians are overworked on the hours they put in-again, thats NOT a good thing. We should be working far less. Construction is a perfect example, it is also the job which has one of the highest mortalities and incidences of worker injury. Again, BAD industry.

    The survey talks to EMPLOYEES, not employers, and records hours lost for the above reasons.

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