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Measures of sick‐related absences from work are important in several respects. They inform about the labour‐supply loss (i.e. forgone output) and the expenditure pressures arising from sickness absences from work; and they provide evidence
about workers' health, the extent of their job satisfaction and integration into the workplace. There is no internationally agreed definition of sickness absences nor a unique data source to be used for international comparisons. Those based on records from health
insurance or company registers, while providing the main source of information for each country, are affected by different national practices in the recording of such absences. A better alternative is represented by self‐reported sick absences measured through household
surveys, although these may be affected by small sample sizes, differences in the frequency of surveys and in the wording of questions.