In the first quarter of 2020, as many as 30 million of employees in the EU were temporarily absent from work. This means a jump of as much as 4.3 million compared to the last quarter of 2019. This rapid increase was mainly caused by compulsory unpaid leaves, which were due to coronavirus, according to Eurostat data. A large increase was also observed among those who gave the "other" category as the reason for their absence, which includes going to parental leave. Personnel Service experts point out that women are still more absent from work than men.
“In fact, throughout the European Union, except for Cyprus, the percentage of absenteeism among women is clearly higher than among men. The biggest difference was recorded in Lithuania, Hungary and Poland. In our country, this is the effect of closing schools and kindergartens as part of the fight against Covid-19. The children had to be looked after by an adult, and as it turns out, this task was much more often undertaken by mothers. In the first quarter of 2020, 144,000 more women and 57,000 more men remained at home, compared to the end of 2019. Thus, women accounted for 66 percent of those absent from work and probably in the next three months this share will increase even more, due to universal care allowance for parents of children under eight years old,” Krzysztof Inglot, President of the Management Board of Personnel Service, said.
In the first quarter of this year, out of 16 million employees, absence from work concerned 8 percent, or 1.3 million employees. This means an increase of 280,000 people y/y (1.5 pp) and 200,000 compared to the last quarter of 2019.