Carlisle council sickness rate still ranked among the worst
Last updated at 14:13, Thursday, 10 October 2013
Council workers in Carlisle lost an average of nine days to sickness in the last year – but the rate is improving.
A report going to councillors today reveals each worker was off an average of 9.1 days – down nearly a fifth of the period lost in the previous year.
But despite the drop in absenteeism, the city council has one of the highest rates in the north west – ranking 14th out of 18.
Of those off ill, the most common cause was listed as muscular or skeletal problems, followed by stress, which accounted for a fifth of all absences, then stomach problems and infections.
In total, 445 days were lost to muscular problems, 395 to stress and depression and 204 to stomach and digestion issues.
“While Carlisle’s sickness absence levels are still 14th out of 18 north west authorities, we have improved from last place in 2011/12,” said Gary Oliver, who compiled the report. “Our reduction goes against the upward trend of days lost in the other north west authorities.”
He said 2013/14 figures showed further reductions in sickness levels, by 22 per cent so far.
The report attributes improved figures to the Employability Assistance Programme, which was introduced in July last year, to help workers deal with personal problems that could impact their work, health and well being.
The system, which is run by an external company, gives employees access to a helpline which operates confidentially.
The report, which breaks down into sections of workers, shows those with the highest number of days off were in the resources department, with an average of 13 days off.
The lowest – 3.3 days – worked for the chief executive.
Jason Gooding, the council’s chief executive, said: “We have invested a lot of time and effort in addressing our sickness absence levels through the introduction of the Employee Assistance Programme.
“Effective absence management means finding a balance between providing support to help employees with health problems stay in and return to work and taking consistent and firm action when necessary.
“Our current performance is very encouraging.”
First published at 11:34, Thursday, 10 October 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Perhaps this is the other side of the story, we, the public see only too well what a mess the council makes of things, high sickness rates are usually attributed to low staff moral, hardly surprising given the management of the place....
The people who carried out this survey want to get themselves to Carlisle Hospitals and they will see its 10 times worse here! example - 2 people in our departemnt have had, yes, 120 days sick in the last 3 years between them.... ridiculous
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