The CFNU Logo
May 30, 2017

Overtime and Absenteeism Fact Sheet 2017

Download Report (PDF)

A new report from the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) calls for safe nurse staffing levels to reduce the system’s reliance on both paid and unpaid overtime for nurses, which contribute to absenteeism, eroding the quality of patient care. The total cost of nurses’ overtime, combined with the cost of nurse absenteeism due to own illness and disability, rose to close to $2 billion annually in 2016. Paid and unpaid overtime of public-sector health-care nurses totaled to 20.1 million hours annually in 2016 – the equivalent of 11,100 nursing positions, at an estimated cost of $968 million.  In addition, in 2016, on average, 24,600 of Canada’s 282,300 public health-care RNs and nurse supervisors were absent each week due to illness or disability at an estimated cost of $989 million to the health care system.