© Taylor & Francis 2002. Objective: The aim of this study was to analyse the variations of sickness leave rates among the Barcelona city council civil servants by administrative category and gender Methods: The study was a retrospective cohort including all people who worked for more than six months for the City Council of Barcelona from 1 January 1984 to 31 December 1993. The cohort was composed of 11,647 men and 9,001 women who contribute to a total of 134,928.7 person/years of follow-up. The study population was classified into administrative categories. Sickness leaves were classified into short episodes (less than 11 days) and long episodes (more than 10 days). Age-specific rates of long and short episodes of sickness leave were computed in a gender-specific analysis. Results: Among men, rate ratios of long spells increased constantly from the middle technician category to the unskilled worker category for the three oldest age groups. This social pattern was not as clear for younger workers. Among women, rate ratios of long spells showed far fewer differences than among men. The social gradient was evident for the three youngest age groups, with the exception of the unskilled workers. The oldest age group showed similar differences between all categories. Short spells followed a different pattern for men and women. Conclusions: Women had generally higher rates than men did, and manual categories had higher rates than non-manual ones, which was more evident for men and long episodes. The relationship between incidence rates and gender could be due to the different contents of the jobs performed by men and women, the influence of gender-based work segregation, and the unequal share of the reproductive workload between men and women, information which was not available for this study.
- health inequalities
- sickness leave