Council sickness rate increases
Social workers and other adult services employees averaged more than three weeks sick leave last year.
Members of the policy and resources committee this week discussed the local authority’s targets for work days lost through illness for 2017/18.
Adult services, which includes social workers, adult protection, reablement and health and social care staff, averaged nearly 17 days off. However, that was a decrease from almost 19 in 2016/17.
Council wide, the aim for sickness absence was nine days but last year 12 days were taken. This was an increase on 11.73 from the previous year’s figures but down on 12.66 in 2015/16.
Teacher figures were not included in the overall council figures and were recorded separately. They came in under their target of 7.5 days by registering 7.19 days but that is up from the 2016/17 figures when 5.89 days were taken on average.
It is a similar story for staff in the communities directorate and economy, environment and infrastructure. Once again the aim was for nine days but both averaged more than 12.
David Stainthorpe, service conditions officer for Unison in Dumfries and Galloway, said:“The figures in this committee report show a higher than expected sickness absence.
“There will be varied reasons for this and Unison is keen to discuss the detailed information behind these statistics with the council’s HR department and work to improve staff wellbeing at work.”
Heather Carnochan, the performance and improvement manager, will tell members the council may change the way sickness leave is recorded in future years.
In a report, she states: “Moving forward there is opportunity for members to consider profiling the targets differently by setting directorate specific targets.”