France is mulling tackling a rising tide of workers taking sick leave by encouraging them to work from home when ill.
Sick leave costs France’s social security system up to €10 billion a year, with the average private sector employee taking 17 days per year in 2017. With sick days rising, due in part to the older average retirement age, the number of days has since hit 18.
“It’s as if our country had introduced an extra day off,” Edouard Philippe, the French prime minister, said recently.
“The system is currently too binary. Doctors should be provided with options such as offering employees ‘work from home’ prescriptions, as an alternative to the average doctor’s note suggesting total or partial rest,” reads the report.
In France, companies are not obliged to pay workers who take sick leave for the first three days away from work, though many do so. To recoup any pay, employees require a doctor’s note from day one.
After three days, social security offers up to a maximum of €44 per day.