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Flu costs Spanish firms €1.2 billion a year

Flu costs Spanish firms €1.2 billion a year
Photo of woman with the flu: Shutterstock
Between 10 and 17 percent of sick days taken in Spain are down to the influenza virus, costing Spanish firms over 60 million lost work hours at a cost of over €1 billion ($1.2 billion) every year, new figures show.

Flu is the ailment that causes the most problems for Spanish businesses, according to new estimates by workplace insurance company Prevención Fremap quoted in Spanish regional newspaper, Noticias de Navarra. 

Unsurprisingly flu causes the most headaches for Spanish firms during the winter months, especially in January.

Spanish workers on average take between five and seven days off work a year because of flu according to Manuel Gómez López, director of Fremap’s department of medicine in the workplace.

The number of days taken off depends on the kind of job you have, people working on production lines or as telephone operators take more days off due to flu than average.

Even those workers who tough it out and go into work with the flu lose their companies money: they are up to 50 percent less productive according to the new estimations.

The flu vaccine could be an important step in combatting this threat to Spanish productivity.

"Vaccinating employees would reduce visits to the doctor by 44 percent and would reduce the number of days off and their corresponding drop in productivity by up to 70 percent," says Gómez López. 

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