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Unionized government employees top list of unscheduled days off

Published by Steve Coleman on April 20, 2012

People missed work more in 2011 than they did a decade earlier.

A fresh look at absenteeism by Statistics Canada says unionized workers tended to take more time off than non-unionized employees and public sector workers were off the job more than people collecting a pay cheque from private industry.

Back in 2001, seven per cent of all full-time workers (minus pregnant women) working one job were absent from work for at least part of a week for personal reasons. The number had increased to 8.1 per cent (913,000 people) in 2011.

Taken as an average, time on the job lost to personal reasons was 8.5 days per worker over the course of the year in 2001. Ten years later, the number was up to 9.3 days.

Full-time public sector employees were also more liable to miss punching in at some point in 2011. Government workers missed an average of 12.9 days. Private sector workers missed an average of 8.2 days during the same period.

Workplace size also tended to affect the number of personal days sidelined. Employees at smaller firms were less likely to take an unscheduled day off.

Full-time employees in Saskatchewan (11.0) lost the most work time in 2011, followed by those in New Brunswick, Quebec, and Nova Scotia (10.8 each). Those in Alberta (7.9) and Ontario (8.3) lost the least.

Where people worked had an impact at the city level, too. Employees in Gatineau (11.7), Victoria (11.1) and Montréal (10.8) lost the most days per full-time worker. Guelph (6.8), Toronto and Calgary (7.1 each) lost the least.

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Alberta British Columbia
Manitoba New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador Nova Scotia
Ontario Québec
Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan