Plan to cut sick days at council

An action plan to tackle unsatisfactory staff absenteeism at a council was approved last night (Wednesday).

Stevenage Borough Council last night approved a plan to tackle the problem at the authority where the projected figure for the year to March is 8.14 days off sick per full-time employee.

While this figure is a 36 per cent reduction on the previous year’s rate of 12.78 days, it is significantly worse than North Herts District Council, which is expected to improve from a rate of 8.68 days last year, to a projected figure of 5.71.

Comparable figures for Central Beds Council are unavailable, although between March 2009 and 2010 an average 9.43 days were taken off sick by staff.

Joan Lloyd, executive member for resources at the council, said: “Through more focus on training and support, as well as day-to-day management, we are addressing the issues that affect the health and wellbeing of our staff.

“I am delighted that we have achieved a year-on-year reduction of 36 per cent in staff sickness absence, resulting in increased productivity and decreased costs. We have plans in place to make further improvements.”

Council officers will report quarterly on sickness levels at the authority.

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A Confederation of British Industry report into sickness in the workplace found private employees took an average of 5.8 days off sick last year, while in the public sector the average was 8.3.

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