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:
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.