Absence from work
Contact infoLabour and Income, Social Statistics
Nete Nielsen and Summer Cook
+45 39 17 30 04 and +45 39 17 34 29
Get as PDF
The purpose of the statistics of absence is to describe the amount of work that is lost due to absence. Absence is divided into "Own sickness", "Children's sickness", "Occupational injury" and "Maternity and adoption leave". The statistics are published on a yearly basis and are used for estimating and comparing the level of absence within different groups of employees.
The statistics of absence are published yearly for the governmental sector, the local governmental sector and the private sector. Statistics according to the new sector definition from 2013 are also published for the labour market as a whole. The absence is grouped by the variables occupation, education, industry, region, age and sex. From 2013 own sickness is published by lengths of period. In the governmental and municipal sector all employees are included while the private sector is described by a representative sample of enterprises with 10 or more employees.
Read more about statistical presentation
On a yearly bases information on absence is collected from all of the public sector and from a sample 2600 private enterprises with 10 or more employees. After validating the absence data the periods of absence are connected to the job from which the person was absent. The information about the extent of the employment is found in the earnings statistics. The information on absence from the private sector is enumerated to the total population of enterprises with 10 employees or more.
Read more about statistical processing
Absence has both personal and economic consequences that have an impact on both employees, employers and the community. The statistics are of interest for the central government, municipalities and regions, private business enterprises, non-governmental organizations, researchers and news media. The statistics are tools used in estimating and comparing the level of absence within different groups of employees, and can be a foundation on which economic and political decisions are made.
Accuracy and reliability
The governmental and local government sector in principle include all employed persons. For these sectors there is immeasurable inaccuracy mainly caused by measuring errors.
The private sector is based on a representative sample of about 2600 enterprises. The inaccuracy can be divided into sampling inaccuracy and the immeasurable inaccuracy that derives from measuring errors. The total absence rate for own sickness is determined with a 95 percent confidence interval to vary around +/- 0.05 percent. Sampling errors for divisions on e.g. gender or industry are considerably higher.
Read more about accuracy and reliability
Timeliness and punctuality
The statistics of absence refers to the whole year to which the absence periods belongs The statistics is published on a yearly basis at the end of October following the reference period. The information is published without delay compared to schedule.
Read more about timeliness and punctuality
The statistics of absence for the central governmental sector covers the year 2003 and forward, while the first data for the local governmental sector was published for the year 2005. The statistics for the private sector covers the period from 2007 and forward. From 2010 the municipality sector and the regional sector are published separately. Before 2010 the two sectors were only published together.
The method and quality of data have continuously been improved especially the first years of the statistics. Comparisons between sectors and years (especially the earliest published data) should only be made with reservations.
Accessibility and clarity
The latest results are published once a year in a Danish press release, at the same time as tables are updated in the StatBank. In the StatBank, these statistics can be found under the subject Absence from work Selected tables were published in [Statistical Yearbook]](https://www.dst.dk/en/Statistik/Publikationer.aspx) which has not been published since 2017. It is possible to buy more detailed results and to get access to micro-data through Statistics Denmark's Research services. for further information, go to the subject page.