The number of Hungarians taking sick leave dropped by a third in six years for fear of less income and job loss, business daily Vilaggazdasag said on Friday.
According to the paper, currently only those take sick leave who are indeed unable to fulfil their duties due to an illness.
Figures of the national health insurance fund show that the number of employees taking sick leave dropped from 1.2 million in 2005 to 897,000 in 2011 and the number of days employees spent on sick leave dropped from over 37 million in 2005 to 22,5 million in 2011.
There were average 62,000 people on sick leave daily last year, as against more than 102,000 in 2005, the paper said.
Vilaggazdasag noted that the fewer people take sick leave, the less money they cost to the state as well to the employer, the latter being responsible for paying 24 percent of sickness benefits.
Part of the reason behind the decreasing trend is that regulations on sickness benefits have been gradually tightened in recent years, the paper said. Last year sickness benefits were reduced from 70 percent of average daily income to 60 percent (and in the case of hospital treatment from 60 percent to 50 percent), maximised at 5,200 forints (EUR 18) a day, which also encourages employees to return to work as soon as possible, the paper added.