Close to 99,000 sick days claimed in Dominica in 2016 – report

A report by the Dominica Employers’ Federation has shown that a total of 9,000 sick leave certificates were registered in 2016 to social insurance and employers, totaling close 99,000 sick days claimed.

That is equivalent to roughly 271 years.

Additionally, the report shows that a total of five doctors gave out the equivalent of 91.1 years of sick leave in 2016 alone.

“The trend in certified sick leave has been alarming over the past six years,” the report stated. “2016 has continued the increasing trend in absenteeism and associated payroll costs to employers.”

Statistics below compares sick leave granted between 2010, 2011 and 2016.

“And to put the foregoing statistics into proper perspective, one has to be reminded that the data does not include certified sick days of less than 4 days duration, as well as uncertified illness leave, and absences when an employee has to visit his health care provider,” the report stated. “If these were to be included, it would give a better reflection of the “work readiness” of the less-than-23,000 registered employees in Dominica.”

The Federation said in the past it has revealed that the same three or four doctors always top the list of liberal sick leave givers.

“In 2016, the same four doctors led the way, but there were joined by a fifth doctor who was ‘heavy’ with the sick leave pen,” the report stated.

These five doctors prescribed sick leave as follows:

President of the Dominica Employers Federation, Benoit Bardouille, at the 2015 AGM of the Federation expressed concerns that EC$19-million had been spent in three years paying wages to employees who were on sick leave.

He stated that the figures were “not encouraging” and a tighter approach to curbing this is critical.

“There is an increase in sick leave and other absenteeism at the national level, probably signs of discontented workers or loop holes in the legislation or both,” Bardouille said in 2015. “The Federation has been analyzing and releasing data on sick leave and the figures are not encouraging. Over those three years EC$ 19-million has been spent by social insurance and employers in paying wages for zero work. We definitely have to give it a second

Several laws already provide for annual non-productive breaks in Dominica as follows:
Every Sunday – 52 days
Other Public Holidays – 12 days
Minimum Vacation – 12 days
Maternity Leave – 72 days
Certified Sick Leave – 36 days
Industrial Injury – 156 days
Compassionate Leave – 2 days

Other leaves provided for in industrial agreements include:
Jury Services
Sporting Activities
Paternity Leave
Union Leave
Study Leave
Family Emergencies
Uncertified Sick Leave

At a government consultation earlier this week, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit expressed concern over the large number of “unnecessary sick leaves granted in Dominica. 

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  1. Let The Truth Be Known - Original
    April 30, 2017

    I have previously read about this on DNO. Every worldwide enterprise has this problem. Based on the medical certificate the government/other employers should look into it. There are various reasons why employees report sick and take sick leave, some, a day or two or more. Some may be valid, others not.
    First of all, Dominica has a lot of holidays and fetes. This could lead to those sick days. It would not be unusual that employees who take advantage of those days could be too tired/sleepy to go to work. They may need an extra day to cool off and rest.
    Employees are to report to work on time and daily. If they take sick leave which is not valid, be it one day, or two or more and they are not ill and get paid for them, it is considered stealing from their employer.
    Let us be fair, boredom, lack of ample pay as they may be, give employees no reason to take time off based on reported illness of this sort when they are not sick.

  2. Clergy Man
    April 30, 2017

    This is nothing alarming. Check out the related stats for many other countries where worker production is high. Per capita stats for England are similar or even higher depending on how you look at them. Well-being is an important factor in determining productivity of a work force, and that includes earned sick leave and time with family. I do not see a big deal in these stats for Dominica. Chill people chill!

  3. mine
    April 30, 2017

    Working with the city of ny excessive calling you might get fired. You get counsel, warning then fire. NO sick time you don’t get pay.

  4. Shameless
    April 29, 2017

    The country is genuinely sick folks! Forget which and what doctor gave the leave because I am hard pressed to believe any doctor in Dca would “consistently” give sick leave to undeserving individuals. What we should be concerned about is the malady and not the leave given for proper recovery.

    90% of all the sickness in Dca now is due to STRESS brought on by this incompetent, vindictive and clueless administration. Labar-titiste, Skerrit-itiste, Red-itiste and Amnesia are the leading culprits. Ask Dr. Benjamin and he will confirm. Stress is killing our nation and instead of addressing the root cause we are trying to put band aids by looking at the doctors who issue sick leave. Shame shame shame! The nation fooing but we still love our PM.

    Assertive like the rod of Moses! :twisted:

  5. Iamanidiot
    April 29, 2017

    Ok, Im not saying there are doctors who don’t do that cause there are . BUT maybe the ministry of Health could instead instead of tallying days tally the REASONS WHY people get sick so often?and do something about that?
    Secondly, the health care system is in shambles, is it a surprise that there are more sick people?
    Also was there a flu or something in that time? Id imagine that if there was something going around (example when there was Zika) that the numbers would be sky high.

    That report is incomplete.

  6. Wa-a
    April 29, 2017

    Excuses,excuses,excuses.Excuse me. When will we ever learn to take responsibility for our actions instead of finding scapegoats ? Blame Skerrit for everything. What used to happen before Skerrit?

  7. G
    April 28, 2017

    Just reading this get me sick. But I won’t be applying for any sick days

  8. selfhelp
    April 28, 2017

    So you mean to say that if workers are sick, they must still come to work and ignore their health? The pittance of a salary we getting in Dominica, employees cannot even afford basic health insurance on it. The same Gov’t they are killing themselves for, will replace you tomorrow if you fall down and die today without even a care in the world. I am not saying that workers should abuse the system but if you feel that you are incapable of working,stay home. Some employers can see how sick some persons are and will still allow them to work especially with airborne diseases. How can employees be productive if one worker infecting and making others sick?

  9. alas
    April 28, 2017

    generally, If a person is fully satisfied with his returns (including salary and staff treatment) as an employee then you would have to beg that person to stay home when sick. any satisfied employee, generally would not try to avoid work but the opposite. when you can’t see a future for yourself based on your salary in a work place you are not provided with the drive to work enthusiastically, and sometimes still treated like a puppet what do you expect. and like some one said don’t forget the zika and Chikungunya for that two year period

  10. REAl!!!!!!
    April 28, 2017

    This reflects a challenging Healthcare System in Dominica which is an indictment on the GOVT so I am not sure why PAPA Skerrit jumping the gun to blame our Doctors.

    If we had proper healthcare services and incomes that allowed the majority to make healthy eating choices then the PM could talk….

    1. More people are getting sick for simple things and are not able to bounce back quickly. Because of unhealthy food choice as a result of very low income……Obesity, Hypertension and Depression is at its highest!!!

    2. How much of this sickness was link to the Zika and Chikungunya virus

    3. The turn around time to get results from the hospital to address your sickness is much longer due to poor management, outdated and limited equipment.

    This GOVT is highly incompetent!!!!!

  11. Really?
    April 28, 2017

    There’s something called data analysis… throwing numbers around and deducing without properly analysing them is careless and irresponsible. Those scare tactics may work on some but thank God some of us know better. There are many other factors to consider before making statement that persons are taking unnessary sick leave and that doctors are aiding in that regard. The chikungunya and zika outbreak is a valid reason for a spike in sick leave. You were given a week from the hospital and some persons more because of the nature of the illness and how it spread. Another factor that must be looked into is the issue of lack of motivation and depression among employees. Until this data is properly analysed and measures are put in place to curb the issues affecting employees I don’t see a solution.

  12. just me
    April 28, 2017

    Interesting , He is concerned about “unnecessary sick leave” . Has there been any thought taken towards what Dr.Benjamin stated in regards to the increase in depression ? Possibly all of these are linked ? We need to stop isolating things and look at them collectively and try to make changes , take a look at the lowest pay per hour. I am not saying that sick leave may not be abused but seriously people ,This Data collected cant show or does not show the “unnecessary sick leave taken” .

  13. just me
    April 28, 2017

    Interesting , He is concerned about “unnecessary sick leave” . Has there been any thought taken towards what Dr.Benjamin stated in regards to the increase in depression ? Possibly all of these are linked ? We need to stop isolating things and look at them collectively and try to make changes , take a look at the lowest pay per hour. I am not saying that sick leave may not be abused but seriously people ,This Data collected cant show or does not show the “unnecessary sick leave taken” .

  14. Jared
    April 28, 2017

    I can speak from personal experience. I have been involved in companies in four Eastern Caribbean countries as well as Canada and the U.S.. Dominica has some of the hardest working people I have come across. People willing to work late or on weekends. People who take the job as a challenge and a lifestyle. That being sad the ones who do abuse the system in Dominica have made it an art form. I found people out with laryngitis out singing Karaoke, I have had a woman sick with “sinus” a week each month only to find she was helping her boyfriend fishing. I have seen 14 of 20 call in sick on days after a good party or during events. I am sad to say that the jobs we offered in Dominica are now elsewhere and the great workers we had have suffered for the ones who used the system to create havoc in the workplace. As the manager and a Dominican it is hard for me to say but I must be honest and tell you it is much worse then the other islands and would not be accepted.

  15. You come out
    April 28, 2017

    Eh Eh, so because your god Scare-It come out and talk about sick leave, you coming out with some bogus statistics. Why are you showing figures for 2010, 2011 and 2016? What happened to 2012-2015? When people look at statistical trends, that is not how the data is reported, and it is very disingenuous of you to come out with such so called ‘statistics’.

  16. Look It
    April 28, 2017

    I find it a bit strange that this information is being made public only after persons were furious about Skerrit’s statement about sick leave…..Skerrit “fix it” team are making sure to ‘handle’ everything that seems to put him in bad light……

    * 2010 -2011 – Chikungunya epidemic in the Caribbean and cases in DA was astonishing
    *2016 – Zika and the Flu out break


  17. follow the crumbs
    April 28, 2017

    The thing is they like to run to the labor commissioner. Plus when you have political pull, which is usually the case. The work force we have today is mostly there to collect a pay check. Yes they going to work but that all they do, go and wait to leave. they dont even dress properly the majority of them.

  18. It's my damn business too man!
    April 28, 2017

    With so many foreign criminals holding our passport who know what they may have claimed.. With Dominica being such a corrupt country who knows what those evil workers of inquiry may have done to try to get the maths to work. It’s an evil country that it prepared to do what it takes to cover and justify their mesd

  19. Small axe
    April 28, 2017

    Regie alone must have claimed over 200 and the Daniel…..woman that has disappointed all of us must have claimed another 400. So just two of them must have claimed over 600 of the 99,000.

  20. Sherika Constance
    April 28, 2017

    Them man know how to use psychology on the minds of the populace.
    Since they in control, then they use fear to dominate your thinking skills.

    But guess what nothing they try can ever bit the truth, your reality is your reality. Tell them.

    • follow the crumbs
      April 28, 2017

      beat not bit. Bit is the past tense of bite. Or, it can be the end tip of a power drill which bores holes. either way, your spelling couldn’t be more incorrect

  21. jaded
    April 28, 2017

    This abuse of sick days has nothing to do with employee discontent. People are the same everywhere. If you give them an opportunity to benefit themselves they will always take advantage of it. The government needs to change the law. Many employers in the U.S. will have you go on short-term disability if you are sick for more than 5 consecutive days. During disability the employee is paid two-thirds of his salary. That reduces the abuse of extended sick days. Short-term disability program can be administered through Dominica Social Security. 99,000 days in one year by 23,000 employees is abusive, excessive, absurd, out of control, and crippling to Dominica’s fragile economy. This is a national emergency! It is imperative that the government steps in NOW!

    • Economy
      April 30, 2017

      Fragile economy? They need to better the economy so that we can feel motivated and better see our way, rather than feeling depressed when going to work

  22. April 28, 2017

    You make them lazy , what do expect sir? Don’t complain now

  23. smart enough to know.
    April 28, 2017

    How many of the sick workers died…..That might be interesting,,

  24. April 28, 2017

    You make them lazy what do you expect sir ? Don’t complain now

  25. me
    April 28, 2017

    Maybe one thing Jury can do is get the people who are not working and let them do jury duty. In that way, they can get paid and employees can remain at their workplace.
    Secondly, maybe if the employer was recognizing the empoyee’s work and congratulate them or give them rewards when they do a job properly, they would stay at work.
    Maybe if the employer had good working conditions, the employee would stay at work even if they had the flu. Maintaining employer/ employee working relationship will encourage the employee to come to work. Find out what’s bothering the employee. A lot of times STRESS can cause the employee to stay home and i do not blame doctors sometimes for giving sick leave because only the employees know what’s wrong with them… coming to work stressful can either make you lose a customer with your hard face, or not do much on the job and cheat the employer their time….

  26. Analyze the data
    April 28, 2017

    Dont forget people had chikengunya ,and Zika.
    And the rest .
    Plus the disease that no body talking about in Dominica , Rum overhang.
    And Rum bed ?

  27. Baker's dozen
    April 28, 2017

    According to Fadda Fox, “I duckkinnnngggg”

  28. Too Hard Too Long
    April 28, 2017

    If you are an employee , this concern will annoy you as you will wonder who gives them the right to say whether you are sick or not. However, if you are an employer or a manager and are privy to business expenditure, then you will understand how this is a problem. Imagine though, that you have employed a full-time cleaner for your home and that you are required to pay her whether she is at work or not. Now imagine that the cleaner calls in sick at least one day every week and you still have to pay the full salary. would you be happy about that? This is what employers are facing – constantly having to pay full wage for part-time employment. Believe me, it is extremely frustrating.

    • Non-Dotish Dominican
      April 28, 2017

      do they really have to pay full wages? i remember a time when the wage/salary was adjusted 60% by the employer and 40% by social security.

      Something else. for the last few years the contribution towards social security have been increasing for the employee but not the employer.

      another thing; some employers cause their employees so much stress that they may just be taking sick leave. just imagine you are bypassed for a post and the person who gets it is less qualified and experienced than you. and worst of all you have to be constantly teaching that person. well if you not strong the stress bound to take its toll eh

    • Long Lost Dominica
      April 30, 2017

      100% Facts but hear the realest side to it >>> How about having a PM of a country always travelling on taxpayers money and they don’t know where he is going and why { aint that frustrating too?<<<

  29. Frank Talker
    April 28, 2017

    Way papa. This is a mess. I have heard of several instances where doctors here write up ick leave certificates for employee who are not even on island, stating that, “I have seen employee xxxx today…”. Some employees don’t even visit the doctor’s office, but they get sick eave certificate.

    • mine
      April 30, 2017

      That the truth for sure.

  30. Dominican
    April 28, 2017

    I find the P.M. is very presumptious. Is he an expert on health as well? How can he he claim to know that a large number of sick leaves are unncessary? Does he have hard evidence for that and pretends to know better than a real medicaldoctors, who issued the certificates in the first place. Yes, he should worry about the high rate of sickness leave but suppose it is for genuine purposes, what then?

    • Non-Dotish Dominican
      April 28, 2017

      must be the honourary degree that fool him

  31. Otyre
    April 28, 2017


    April 28, 2017

    I’m very happy the government and businesses are finally realizing this!!
    It’s about time!!

  33. Me
    April 28, 2017

    May I suggest that this upward trend in sick leave may be an indication of lack of motivation, and career opportunity, which can be a clinical stress factor by itself? In other words, employees may be less happy at work.. than before.

  34. zandoli
    April 28, 2017

    Employers, you have a choice. Monitor the sick leave your employees are taking. If you thin it is excessive, fire said employees to set an example. That will get the message across very quickly. In a sense, I blame you for not adequately managing your business.

  35. truth , shall set you free
    April 28, 2017

    why cry? you all have a lot of money giving away , and saying money is not a problem,You place nep workers in institutions where there is more workers than work ,Playing politics ,now you crying? You do not want to give workers a raise of pay ,and you want more performance? By all means the hard workers of Dominica is under attack by this prime minister, The only people he do not attack ,are the lazy people who keep walking up the steps of financial center time and time again to beg you ,and keep you feeling like a god,, You did it to the farmers ,Now you have them begging ,The police ,the nurses the elderly ,the school children The judges and magistrates ,the lawers, THE CHURCHES <THE CHURCHES ,THE CHURCHES,OH MY GOD GOD GOD,THE CHURCHES, If my people who are called by my name ,would humble themselves ,seek my face ,and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WICKED ways ,, THEN THEN THEN will i hear from heaven, forgive their sins , and heal their lands,

  36. April 28, 2017

    Thanks for the follow up, DNO. This context makes the PM’s remarks easier to understand.

  37. eyes open wide
    April 28, 2017

    the cost of living in this country is to dam high u work to hard for little money and as u get it bills and food take all of it ,so when u tired with that little bit of money they paying u must say home or send them a sick leave , :)

    • A. George
      April 28, 2017

      Go states and try that nuh :lol: :lol: :lol:

  38. Delighted
    April 28, 2017

    What is the point? Are you all saying people get sick intentionally? This data while there is a need for concern does not clearly explain the problem

  39. wondering
    April 28, 2017

    This is the data. OK. Other than ratio analysis what other analysis was made using this data? Was there analysis of the root causes of these illnesses? Could the increase in sick days be due to deteriorating working conditions or even increasing workloads without proper safeguards being put in place. There’s also recent reports of increased CNCDs, are these correlated? Instead of trying to assign blame to doctors who took an oath to preserve health and life, maybe it’s time employers federation look within and get it’s members to create a healthy workspace so that employees will have less need for sick leave and thus increasing productivity.

  40. Looking
    April 28, 2017

    I guess that is the way the public service is silently protesting their disgust at what is happening. Too much nepotism and politics in the service. From the President to the messengers, Police chief to constables. If you do not drink red juice, eat red food, breathe red air, s*%#t red and sing red tunes nothing for you. Sad situation on the nature isle.

  41. google
    April 28, 2017

    We also have to put this into perspective.
    Last year there was an outbreak of Zika virus and that would put quite a few people out of work.
    Before that there was the Chikungunya virus,
    We need now to see what will be the stats for this year and then compare it to previous years.

    • A. George
      April 28, 2017

      good point.

  42. derp
    April 28, 2017

    you know the problem is the current economic problem in Dominica, handout economy, handout economy, handout economy!! Unsustainable jobs, lack of incentives for the average DOMINICAN!

  43. Anonymous
    April 28, 2017

    Hmm. I think the next step should be to investigate the causes of sickness. Is it that people really are more unhealthy? Is it that people are unhappy with their jobs? Is it that people are lazy? Time to end the talk and do some research! Investigate! Get some more data! Explore correlations!

  44. Non-Dotish Dominican
    April 28, 2017

    Are employees who go off on sick leave being paid MORE THAN THEIR SALARIES?

  45. Really?
    April 28, 2017

    I see no sense in stressing over the doctors who certify the sick leave especially if you take into consideration they may be the frontline doctors who deal with the cases that actually warrant sick leave. For example, the main gynecologist must be one, the main doctor at casualty must be one, mac & cheese must be one (most popular office always full) and bone specialist should be one (people cannot work with fractures). When so called intelligent people take information out of context you must get these sought of ridiculous analysis. SMH.

  46. papa
    April 28, 2017

    It’s a disgrace to much holidays in da

    • Baker's dozen
      April 28, 2017

      Trust me, if it wasn’t for the holidays we have more people would be in the psych unit.

      You have NO IDEA what some people are going through in their work place.

      I see some people commenting on here and they siding with the Employers Federation, but I bet you none of you all realize that some people send in medical to escape from the sexual harassment (Both men and women) from their employers.

      Some employers want to touch you and see what colour underwear you have on just because they hired you. Other employers/managers letting go all their stress on you because the place not doing well, like as if is you dat hv dem making wrong decisions about business.
      Some managers need HR training.

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