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Side menu bar Catalogue Number 75-001-XIE Table of contents Latest issue News from The Daily Latest data Survey information Back issues Feedback Studies Latest issue in PDF

April 2006
Vol. 7, no. 4

Perspectives on Labour and Income

On sick leave
Katherine Marshall

  • In 2003, long-term absences from work (two weeks or more) due to illness or disability averaged 11 weeks and cost $8,800 each.
  • While the rate for long-term absences for personal illness or disability was relatively stable—3.9% in 1993 and 3.7% in 2003, the rate for absences that were work-related fell steadily—from 1.8% to 1.4%.
  • Prior health issues, age, job permanency, and having a unionized job with extended medical or disability coverage, all significantly increased the likelihood of an extended absence.
  • Absences lasting upwards of four months had consequences, including negative health, stress, career stagnation, and heightened chances of being on leave again the next year.

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Katherine Marshall is with the Labour and Household Surveys Analysis Division. She can be reached at (613) 951-6890 or

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