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Some numbers

  • De Tijd magazine (Belgium) reported in early 2024 that companies must miss 1 in 10 employees every day due to sick leave.

  • In 2022 the average working Belgian was absent through illness for 7.5 days. This is according to figures from Belgian HR services company Acerta. That figure is noticeably higher than in recent years. In 2022, 1 in 7 employees was sick for at least one day per month on average. In 2021, this was still 1 in 8 and in 2019, 1 in 10.

  • SD Worx's Employment Tracker, which analyzes monthly salary data from 70,000 employers and nearly one million private sector employees in Belgium, reports the following: short-term absenteeism (less than 1 month) experienced the largest increase of nearly 20% (to 3.43%), surpassing medium-term absenteeism (between 1 month and 1 year) for the first time (since 2016), which also increased by 1.65% to 3.18%. On average, 6.6 days were lost to short- or medium-term absences in 2022. There were especially more people on short-term sick leave, 68%. Only one in three workers (32%) did not have a single day of short-term sickness. Almost 13% were absent for a medium duration (between 1 month -1 year).

  • Deloitte’s external marketplace survey of 1,000 full-time US professionals finds that 77 percent of respondents say they have experienced employee burnout at their current job, with more than half citing more than one occurrence.

Benefits for employers

  • Increased employee engagement and productivity

A study at the University of California Riverside revealed a significant productivity boost among companies offering employee wellness initiatives. This improvement was dramatic: approximately equal to an additional productive work day per month for the average worker.

  • Cost savings for employers

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA, for every dollar invested, employers can expect a return of investment (ROI) of $3 to $6 through reduced healthcare costs and improved productivity.


The Harvard Business Review notes a 6% lower healthcare cost trend in companies with effective wellness programs, compared to companies without such programs.

According to the US Chamber of Commerce, 60 percent of companies report that workplace wellness programs reduced their
organization’s overall healthcare costs leading to a ROI of $1.50 to $3.00 per dollar spent over a time frame of two to nine years.

The American Heart Association's findings suggest a 25% decrease in absenteeism and healthcare costs among employees participating in comprehensive wellness programs.

  • Enhanced talent acquisition and retention

A survey conducted by the WorldatWork and the National Business Group on Health revealed that 92% of organizations consider employee well-being programs as part of their overall attraction and retention strategies.


The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that wellness programs positively impact employee decisions to stay with an organization, with 77% recognizing their value.

Benefits for employees

  • Improved employee health and well-being


A study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine highlights the positive impact of workplace wellness programs on physical health, showing significant reductions in body mass index (BMI), lower blood pressure, and improved cholesterol levels.


  • Positive organizational culture and employee satisfaction

Research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that organizations with a strong
culture of health, supported by wellness programs, demonstrate higher levels of employee satisfaction, increased morale, and
improved teamwork.


The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans reported that companies with wellness programs experience a more positive organizational culture, reduced employee stress levels, and improved employee morale.

  • Happier employees

According to a study by Aflac, 70 percent of employees enrolled in wellness programs report higher job satisfaction than those not enrolled. 

According to a survey by Optum, the more engaged an employee is with a wellness program, the more likely he or she is to stay with the company.​

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