Degree of employment, sick leave, and costs following notification of occupational contact dermatitis-A register-based study

Contact Dermatitis. 2021 Apr;84(4):224-235. doi: 10.1111/cod.13719. Epub 2020 Nov 12.


Background: Occupational contact dermatitis (OCD) is the most commonly recognized occupational disease in Denmark.

Objectives: To examine the impact of recognized OCD on degree of employment, sick leave, unemployment, and job change.

Methods: Data on all recognized individuals with OCD notified in Denmark between 2010 and 2015 (n = 8940) were linked to information on social transfer payments in the years before and after notification. The number of weeks on unemployment benefits or sick leave and the degree of employment during the 2 years prior to notification was compared with the 2 years following notification.

Results: The degree of employment decreased on average 8.9 work-hours/month, corresponding to an average annual loss of income per worker of approximately €1570. The average number of weeks that workers were receiving unemployment benefits and paid long-term sick leave rose by 2.5 and 3.4 weeks, respectively, corresponding to an average additional annual cost per worker of approximately €420 and €770, respectively. Longer case-processing time was significantly associated with lower degree of employment and higher levels of unemployment and sick leave.

Conclusions: OCD has a significant negative impact on employment and economics, thus highlighting the need for a national, strategic action plan for effective prevention of OCD.

Keywords: allergic contact dermatitis; degree of employment; irritant contact dermatitis; job loss; labor market affiliation; occupational; prognosis; sick leave.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cost of Illness
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / economics*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / prevention & control
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / economics*
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / prevention & control
  • Employment / economics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Sick Leave / economics*
  • Unemployment