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Economic Costs due to Incapacity for Work

Estimations of the costs of production losses: Salary costs and loss of labour productivity

The estimation of the economic loss of production caused by incapacity for work gives an impression of the potential for prevention. Here, for 2021.

Since 1994, and thus for the first time for 1993, the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) has estimated the macro-economic losses due to incapacity for work With an average incapacity for work of 17.0 days per employee, a total of 697.9 million days of incapacity for work occurred in 2021. Resulting from this volume of disability, BAuA estimates the total loss of production in the economy as a whole of € 89 billion, or the gross loss of € 153 billion.

The data base

The estimate is based on data from the national accounts (Federal Statistical Office) as well as on incapacity for work of about 31 million members of the statutory health insurance of the following statutory health insurance funds.

  • Allgemeine Ortskrankenkassen
  • Betriebskrankenkassen
  • Ersatzkassen
  • Sozialversicherung für Landwirtschaft, Forsten und Gartenbau als Träger der landwirtschaftlichen Krankenversicherung

The persons covered are compulsory and voluntary members of the statutory health insurance with sickness benefit claim, without pensioners and co-insured family members.

To calculate the amount of members of the statutory health insurance, the membership years are taken into account. This means, that a person insured for 6 months in 2021 (e.g. in the context of seasonal labour) is calculated as 0.5 membership years. Overall, data of 31 million membership years are included into the calculation.

For further information please refer to our German Website.

Further Information


Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre Postbox 17 02 02 D-44061 Dortmund Germany
Phone: +49 231 9071-1971 Fax: +49 231 9071-2070

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