The Estonian Trade Unions Confederation (EAKL) has called for employers to pay sickness benefits to their employees for their first three taken sick days as well.
The Estonian Health Insurance Fund's first quarter report showed that employees were 14 percent sicker in the first quarter of thi year than they were during the same period in 2016, EAKL told BNS. The Health Insurance Fund reimbursed altogether 85,762 more working days than during the year before. The trade unions estimated the additional cost for the Estonian economy to have totaled at least 3.43 million working hours.
The number of certificates for sick leave during the same time period increased by only one percent, however, based upon which the EAKL estimated that employees were in a more unprotected situation with regard to communicable diseases than children.
The trade union is now once again calling on employers to reimburse employees' first three sick days as well in order to decrease instances of disease outbreaks at work.
"Employees' health issues are reflected in the economic results of businesses and coming to work while sick will increase the impact of disease outbreaks even further. It is in the interests of both people and businesses that employees do not come to work when sick," said Peep Peterson, chairman of the EAKL and member of the supervisory board of the Health insurance Fund.
According to Peterson, trade unions often see how people are stressed and cannot find the time or money to take care of their health. "Thus diseases accumulate, the treatment of which in later stages will be much more expensive and take more time," he noted.
Editor: Aili Vahtla