Council tackles staff absence

PUBLISHED: 13:35 29 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:15 28 May 2010

FENLAND District Council is following its county counterpart in tackling staff absence and sickness records. The number of sick days taken by staff working for Cambridgeshire County Council is one of the lowest of any local authority in the country, new f

FENLAND District Council is following its county counterpart in tackling staff absence and sickness records.

The number of sick days taken by staff working for Cambridgeshire County Council is one of the lowest of any local authority in the country, new figures show.

Sickness absence for the year 2005-6 was 6.1 days per full-time employee, down from 6.3 days recorded in the previous year - the national average for comparable local authorities was 10.9 days and private sector companies on average recorded 7.5 days sickness during 2005-6.

Fenland District Council clocked up 8,500 days of sickness absence last year. The council's 700 or so employees ended-up taking on average 11.51 days each.

But the council says staff sickness levels have been detected because it is now using a more rigorous recording system.

County council leader, Councillor Keith Walters, said: "The fall in sickness rates is a reflection of the effort we have put in to tackle staff illness at the county council and a credit to everyone who works for the authority."

Cambridgeshire County Council employs some 18,000 people - equivalent to around 13,000 full time staff - and its sickness absence level in 2005-6 was the second lowest when compared to 19 other county councils across the country.

Councillor Ken Mayor, Fenland District Council's portfolio holder for quality organisation, told colleagues this summer the council fully expected a blip in the figures.

"We have set a realistic target of an average of 12 sickness days for next year, but we have put in place a range of policies that will reduce this down to a genuine eight days a year over three years," he promised.

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