1st Verlingue Absenteeism Barometer

Verlingue, an insurance broker specializing in corporate protection, has published its 1st Absenteeism Barometer based on data observed* from its customer portfolio (282,000 policyholders) between 2018 and 2021. Some of the main lessons learned include:


  • An increasing absenteeism rate: 5.5% in 2021 versus 4.8% in 2019, and 5.6% projected for 2022
  • The cost of maintaining salaries: 3.3% of payroll
  • Relapse rate: the determinism of past absenteeism 

2021: absenteeism at the centre of companies’ concerns


  • The annual absenteeism rate is expected to rise to 5.6% in 2022, compared to 5.5% in 2021, 5.7% in 2020 and 4.8% in 2019. The fifth wave of COVID resulted in the rate worsening in 2021.


  • The cost of maintaining salaries in 2021 is on average €85 per day of absence and €3,293 per year per absent employee. This is 27% higher than in 2018 (impact of long periods of sick leave) and represents 3.3% of total payroll

Long periods of sick leave, which represent 13% of sick leave, account for 69% of the total duration of absences in 2021 and have a direct impact on the cost of absenteeism for companies


  • Relapse rate: the determinism of past absenteeism. An employee who has already been absent last year is twice as likely to be absent this year. This observation is valid for both the pre-COVID and post-COVID periods. The risk increases if the number of instances of sick leave in the previous year was higher.



  • Absenteeism increases with age: the severity of sick leave and the cost of maintaining salary increases with age. The duration of absences for those over 55 years of age is double that of those under 30 years of age, for an average cost multiplied by 3 (effect of duration of absences and higher level of remuneration).


  • Disparities by sector of activity and by region

The sectors most affected in 2021 are health (7.7%), agri-food (7.1%) and trade (5.8%).

Furthermore, managers and supervisors are less absent (3.1%) than workers and employees (7.1%).

Finally, in terms of location, the South and Hauts-de-France regions are the most exposed to absenteeism, with 6.7% and 6.2% respectively, whereas the national average is 5.5%.



Identifying the key factors of absenteeism to improve the quality of life of employees and reduce the overall cost of absenteeism


Beyond its financial impact, employers face human and operational challenges.


The Verlingue barometer offers a quantified analysis of the factors behind absenteeism in a complex economic, social and societal context that is more difficult to understand (recruitment difficulties / longer careers, pension reform announcements and the financial impact on companies’ insurance programs).


Thanks to the data and analysis of Verlingue’s provident risk experts, the Verlingue Absenteeism Barometer aims to gain a better understanding of the structural changes in absenteeism and offers, for the first time, a methodology that provides a structured approach for:

  • Preventing absenteeism in order to reduce it,
  • Encouraging return to work,
  • Structuring health and prevention policies.

And this, in order to allow companies to gain in productivity, to improve the quality of life of their employees and to decrease the global cost of absenteeism.


*Methodology: The barometer is based on a quantitative analysis of absenteeism in France observed from the Verlingue portfolio between 2018 and 2021, fed by data from the Nominative Social Declarations of the Health and Welfare customers (in compliance with GDPR standards) enriched by Opendata sources relating to Health, the Economy and Climate.

For each reference year, the analyses are carried out by observation over the calendar year (1 January to 31 December). The study covers a portfolio of 282,000 policyholders (46% women, average age 38.9 years) representing 483 companies present over the entire period analysed. The indexes observed in base 100 make it possible to retain a reference period, to calculate and easily compare the evolution of several indicators between two given periods on a stable basis in nature and composition.


Press Contact:
Gwenola Jutel-Iehl : gwenola.jutel-iehl@verlingue.fr +33 6 43 44 96 58