The aim was to assess sick-leave among women in relation to psychiatric disorder. A stratified population-based sample of women in Gothenburg were interviewed and diagnoses were made according to DSM-III-R. Sick-leave data was obtained for a ten year period. Women with psychiatric disorder had higher rates of sick-leave, compared to women without such disorders, in analyses taking into account age, socio-economic status, physical health, marital status and motherhood. Presence of psychiatric and physical illness were both independently associated with higher sick-leave. Highest sick-leave was found among those with a combination of psychiatric and physical morbidity. Psychiatric disorder is an important factor in sick-leave among women, especially regarding length of absence.