Ann Occup Environ Med.  2020 ;32(1):e17. 10.35371/aoem.2020.32.e17.

Association between employment status and sickness presenteeism among Korean employees: a cross-sectional study

  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea


Sickness presenteeism (SP) indicates “going to work while being ill.” The importance of SP has only recently been investigated, and the association between SP and employment status has been inconsistent across studies. Therefore, we conducted this study to explore the association between SP and employment status by using presenteeism propensity (PP), which can reflect the individual decision-making process.
The study population included employees participating in the 5th Korean Working Condition Survey. We analyzed data of only employees with at least one health event, which was calculated as the sum of SP and sickness absenteeism days. Employment status was grouped into 3 categories: stable employment, unstable employment (contract period ≥ 1 year), and unstable employment (contract period < 1 year). Survey-weighted logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess the association between employment status and PP (dichotomized as “≤ 0.5” and “> 0.5”).
Unstable employees (contract period ≥ 1 year) had higher odds of PP than stable employees (odds ratio [OR]: 1.23, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03–1.47), whereas unstable employees (contract period < 1 year) had lower odds of PP than stable employees (OR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.71–0.96).
Employment status was associated with SP. Given the negative health impact of SP, social efforts, such as paid sick leave, are required to reduce SP and enhance the health status of unstable workers.


Presenteeism propensity; Unstable employment; Stable employment; Sickness absenteeism; Sickness presenteeism
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