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Survey reveals why sick leave is on the rise in Germany

The number of Germans taking sick leave has risen steadily this year, a new study has revealed.

37 percent of employees in country took sick leave at least once in the first six months of this year

37 percent of employees in country took sick leave at least once in the first six months of this year

The German DAK health report 2016 shows that Germans have taken more sick leave days in 2016 than in any other year in almost two decades, DW reported.

Some 37 percent of employees in country took sick leave at least once in the first six months of this year.

Jörg Marschall, of the IGES research institute and the author of the survey, told DW that while the survey looks only at people insured with the DAK, it can be regarded as more or less representative of the German population as a whole.

The survey discovered that hips, legs, knees and back: muscular and skeletal disorders were the number one reason why German employees failed to go to work.

Respiratory disorders emerged as the second most common reason why people failed to go to work.

Increased workloads, the labor market and working conditions contributed to the rise in sick leave, the survey revealed.

In Germany employers normally require a sick leave slip from a doctor after three days of absence. Employees on sick leave receive their full salary for six weeks, after which the health insurance fund picks up the tab – though less than the full salary – until people return to work or are forced to retire because of health problems.