As far as sick days are concerned, Israelis come in last place – or first place depending on your point of view – among all of the workers in the world. This is according to a new study published by SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk, which works to provide British small businesses with information that they need for their day- to-day operations. But its study on sick days also reviewed other nations of the world in order to give a comparison to the rate at which they are used in England.
Sick days are part of life. Everyone gets sick at one point or another. The question remains, however, at what point do you get to be too ill to actually go to work? And sick days also come with somewhat of a stigma among employers who see people take advantage of them by calling in sick from time to time when they just don’t want to work. This may be one of the reasons that some people avoid using all of their sick days.
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But all of this changed during the Coronavirus crisis. Most offices the world over were closed and those people who were not temporarily laid off worked from home, if they could. The Covid pandemic also showed that it is not such a good thing for people to go into work in an enclosed area with many other people if they are truly ill. This could lead to infecting many other people with whatever cold or flu virus that the person is carrying.
As for the study, Israeli workers had the lowest average rate of taking sick days per year with only 3.9 days. The United Kingdom came in second on the list with people taking just 4.4 sick days per year. This is out of 15 nations surveyed, 14 from Europe along with Israel.
Germany had the highest rate with workers taking an average of 18.3 sick days per year.
So, the question remains – why Israel? Why do Israelis take so few sick days per year? A few reasons are given. One is a strong work ethic in Israel. Another reason may be that in Israel the government does not cover the full cost of sick leave and if someone is out of work for more than just a few days, their employer may not need to cover their full salaries.