This study compares the occupational performance of employees with and without hearing impairment, and aims to identify occupational difficulties specifically related to hearing loss. The Amsterdam Checklist for Hearing and Work was administered to 150 hearing-impaired employees and 60 normally-hearing colleagues. A multivariate analysis of variance was performed to test group effects, and to examine differences between means. Factors predicting sick-leave were identified by regression analyses. A significant group effect (p <0.01) was found. Hearing-impaired employees differed from normally-hearing colleagues in their perception of 'environmental noise', 'job control' and the 'necessity to use hearing activities' at work. Also, sick-leave due to distress occurred significantly more often in the hearing impaired group (p <0.05). 'Hearing impairment', 'job demand', and the requirement to 'recognize/distinguish between sounds' were the strongest risk-factors for stress related sick-leave. The importance of hearing functions besides speech communication is discussed. Implications for rehabilitation are suggested. In future research, hearing loss should be considered as a risk factor for fatigue and mental distress which may lead to sick-leave.