In the 2020 pandemic year, Bavarians were less likely to be on sick leave than the national average – but according to the Barmer health insurance company, there are occupational groups that were particularly vulnerable. Employees in postal and delivery services (30.5 days), in building cleaning (27.4 days) and in nursing and care for the elderly (23.9 and 26.6 days, respectively) had the highest absenteeism. The university professors in the Free State were the least likely to log off from work for health reasons – on average they were only on sick leave for 4.4 days. This emerges from the current Barmer health report. It is based on data from around 3.8 million Barmer policyholders throughout Germany and is therefore considered to be representative. For Bavaria, the data from 545,000 economically active persons between the ages of 15 and 65 were evaluated.
According to the report, the nationwide average in 2020 was 18 sick days per employee. In Bavaria the number fell by two percent to 16.3 days – only Baden-Württemberg and Hamburg recorded even fewer. More than two thirds of absenteeism can be traced back to just four types of illness: around 22 percent to diseases of the musculoskeletal system, almost 21 percent to mental disorders, almost twelve percent to injuries and a good 13 percent to respiratory diseases. The latter are also the most common cause of inability to work, while the longest sick leave, with an average of 51 days, can be traced back to mental disorders. It is more often women who are absent due to mental illness, while men are more often due to back pain.