The main reasons for Bradford Council employees taking sick days is revealed in a new report.
But human resource bosses will tell councillors this week that despite a slight increase in the total number of days lost to sickness in 2013-14, they are on course for a downward trend.
Wellbeing workshops and drop-in health fairs have been among the new ideas introduced to help employees get fit, stay healthy and stay on the job.
And forecasts show the Council is set to achieve an average rate of 10.1 sick days per full-time employee in 2013-14 compared with an average rate of 10.44 in 2012-13. In the Adults and Community Services Department, where average sickness rates were 13.86 days off per employee, the main reason given was fractures, sprains and muscular problems; in the Chief Executive’s Office where staff had an average 6.42 days off, it was cold and flu; in Children’s Service fractures and muscular injuries were the prime cause of the 10.92 average rate.
Meanwhile, in the City Solicitor’s Department, neurological problems were the top reason for the 8.21 days off average; in the Department of Environment and Sport it was fractures and sprains which led to an average of 11.19 days off, the same reason was the top cause of sickness in the Finance Department where the average rate was 8.11 days off, while depression and anxiety was cited as the main reason Human Resources staff stayed at home and led to a 10.45 average rate.
Workers in the Public Health Department also suffered most from fractures and sprains leading to an overall average rate of 9.45 days off per employee as did their colleague in the Department of Regeneration and Culture which saw an overall sickness rate of 10.12 days off.
On Thursday, the authority’s corporate overview and scrutiny committee will also hear from a report by Janice Simpson, strategic director of adult and community services, about what is being done to reduce sickness rates in her department which had been set a target of 11.5 sick days off per employee.
The committee has been recommended to instruct all departments to prioritise reducing sickness absence and to ask for a progress report on how successful schemes have been in getting people back to work. The meeting takes place at Bradford City Hall from 5pm.