At the low rhythm of the operation of the companies that brought the pandemic and the measures to face it, there is another phenomenon that hits productivity and directly increases costs: absenteeism from work.
The issue is not minor when it is noted that last year each worker was absent 15.68 days on average, of which 8.2 days were caused by some reason associated with Covid-19.
Of that total, 10.23 days correspond to other permits and licenses, of which 3.7 days are associated with the Coronavirus.
And another 5 days correspond to diseases of common origin, of which 4.5 days are also related to Covid-19, the study indicates.
This allows us to conclude that of the total days that a person missed work 8.2 days were caused by the pandemic.
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The increase to 15.73 days is important, taking into account that in 2019 7.28 days had been achieved and that in the records since 2014 that data had not reached two digits.
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This information was released yesterday by the Center for Social and Labor Studies – Cestla- of the National Association of Entrepreneurs of Colombia, Andi, by delivering the results of the seventh version of the 2020 Survey on Absenteeism, Disabilities and Medical Relocations (EALI).
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190 companies in the country participated in this analysis, representing 7.9% of formal jobs (433,959 workers), and a total of $ 292 billion in operating income that is equivalent to 29% of the national GDP. There it is reported that last year 1,795,897 days of work absenteeism related to the pandemic were registered, in contrast to 372,078 days of disabilities recognized by Covid-19.
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Likewise, there it is found that the private sector had to pay 5.78% more costs for each worker last year, based on the salary they earn, due to absenteeism.
Performing the calculation on the basis of an earned minimum wage, for reasons associated exclusively with absenteeism, this means that an employer paid around $ 52,480 more per month for absenteeism and $ 629,763 in the year.
Alberto Echavarría, Vice President of Legal Affairs at Andi, commented that “absenteeism from work is a growing phenomenon in the last decade that affects the productivity and competitiveness of companies.
On this occasion, the survey included data that made it possible to analyze the effects of Covid-19 and, in turn, these results demonstrated the effort of the private sector to retain jobs through different modalities such as work at home and, in general , flexible operation schemes ”.
Just as absence from work increased in the number of days, the cases also increased, going from 1.26 per worker in 2019 to 1.78 last year, which represents a variation close to 42%.
In addition, out of 1,795,897 days of work absenteeism related to the pandemic, there were 372,078 days of disabilities recognized by Covid-19.
In an average sample of 1,000 workers, 36.4 had medical restrictions, of which 4.7 had to be relocated from their posts. Of the workers who had restrictions and medical relocations, 33.2% did not generate a productive relationship for the companies.
On the other hand, when reviewing absenteeism cases motivated by Covid-19 in a sample of 1,000 workers, on average, several cases were found. For example, 96.5 workers were suspected but had no disability.
Another 83.4 people were suspected of having the virus, had absenteeism and disability, and 80.3 employees were in mandatory preventive isolation without rendering their services. In addition, 56.9 workers were confirmed cases of Covid-19 with absenteeism and disability and others.
There is also shown that 38.3 people were confirmed cases of Covid-19 but they did not have disability or it was rejected. and another 17.3 people were in compulsory preventive isolation without rendering their services, with remuneration and did not have preexistence. Finally, it was detected that 17.3 people had an unpaid leave due to isolation, social distancing or Covid-19, with or without life support.
In addition to the figures revealed by Andi, the Colombian Security Council, CCS, has warned of the negative impact of the pandemic on productivity.
In Colombia, citizens over 18 years of age who have presented Covid number more than 3.5 million people (3,618,340).
Of these, in the range between 18 and 62 years (productive age in men before pension) a total of 3,017,764 cases have been presented. Considering as a reference a minimum wage and a benefit factor of 1.56, with 14 days of absence of the worker, the economic impact of the pandemic on productivity is estimated at a value close to $ 2 trillion pesos, says the recent analysis.
Independent of the health crisis, Adriana Solano Luque, president of the Colombian Security Council, CCS, explains that absenteeism in companies is due to disabilities or by permits and that this cannot be considered as good or bad.
In general, he states, “it is important to have it monitored because it can reveal different situations such as health problems of workers, problems of the work environment and even possible situations of workplace harassment.”