Coun­cil sick­ness rate in­creases

The Galloway News - - GALLOWAY VIEW -

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.”

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